Click here for season 2014-15 brochure with performance times, single ticket prices and more information about RTG.
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”
Introducing the Racine Theatre Guild’s 2014-15 (77th) season is a contemporary, Tony Award-winning musical comedy, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” From July 18-27, spellers from the cast as well as the audience take the stage at 2519 Northwestern Avenue (Highway 38) in Racine.
With book by Rachel Sheinkin and music and lyrics by William Finn, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” centers on six nerdy, adolescent overachievers (played by adults) facing off in the spelling championship of a lifetime. Details about each competitor are revealed through songs, flashbacks and fantasy scenes. Chip Tolentino (Matt Sawalski), the reigning champion, is struggling with puberty. Politically aware Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere (Rebecca Ryan) desperately wants to please her two gay fathers (hence, her last name). Home-schooled Leaf Coneybear (John Christensen), a second alternate, has trouble focusing and finds everything amusing. William Barfee, pronounced Bar-FAY (Zak Keil), spells words out on the floor with his foot. Parochial school student Marcy Park (Brittany Daniels) is a multi-talented perfectionist. Shy Olive Ostrovsky (Sara Brandt) is the only child of often-absent parents. Former spelling bee winner Rona Lisa Perretti (Anne Mollerskov) keeps the bee running smoothly, upholds protocol, and conveys crucial information to the audience. The word pronouncer, a last-minute substitute, is Douglas Panch (Peter Jones), a mildly insane vice principal who’s infatuated with Rona Lisa. When contestants misspell, they’re escorted off stage by “comfort counselor” Mitch Mahoney (Scott Wurm), an ex-con completing his community service. In addition to the spellers, some members of the audience will be asked to join the competition. This results in ad-libbing, making each performance unique. Please note: This show has adult content and is not recommended for children.
“Spelling Bee” opened Off-Broadway in 2004 and broke box office records at the Second Stage Theatre before moving to Broadway in the spring of 2005. There it again received rave reviews and won two 2005 Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical.
The director of the Racine Theatre Guild production is Kara Ernst. RTG Technical Director Chris Reinhardt designed the set. Jamie Johnson heads the volunteer crew as production stage manager, with Kathy Berg serving as stage manager.
Sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” runs two weekends, from July 18-27. There are performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. In addition, there is a Saturday 4 p.m. show on July 19 and a 7 p.m. show on Thursday, July 24. Ticket prices on Thursday night are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (62 and older), and $10 for students (21 and younger). At all other times tickets cost $19/$17/$14. Further discounts are offered to subscribers and groups of 12 or more. Two types of season tickets—reserved seating and flex passes—are currently being sold and offer the lowest prices.
The RTG box office (2519 Northwestern Ave.) is open from 12 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 90 minutes prior to curtain through intermission at performances. For tickets, call 262-633-4218 or order online at www.racinetheatre.org (discounts cannot be applied to online orders).