Hilarious! Saint Sebastian Players Presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at St Bonaventure (Through April 3, 2022)

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee premiered on Broadway in April of 2005 and ran until January 2008. It won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Featured Actor. In Chicago, a run began in April 2006 at the Drury Lane Theatre, Water Tower Place, closing on March 2007. And now, in March of 2022, it opens at St Bonaventure.

Tonight is the 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee. All the contestants here won their local spelling bee. Well, except for Coneybear. He finished in third, but the winner is having his bar-mitzvah today. Also, the runner up needs to attend the bar-mitzvah. As the contest continues, more details about all the contestants are revealed. There are also four members of the audience that have become spellers. They each get a very funny one-line introduction.

The four audience members do a great job on this evening. They all get the easy and medium words correct. Then, they all get the difficult words wrong, except for one speller. After she gets this hard word correct, the vice principal is amazed and motions for her to take a seat. He then calls her name right away and gives her an even harder word, which is actually three words, “lysergic acid diethylamide”. After she pauses for a long time getting lost in the middle, he rings the bell and she is dismissed.

The entire show is very fun and hilarious. Rachel Sheinkin wrote the book with the Music and Lyrics by William Finn. It was conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss. All together, they created a show that is a big hit.

Kay Rower is great as a former winner so excited to be hosting this event. Sean Michael Barrett is hilarious as the grumpy vice principal who delivers the best lines of the night. Peter Kattner III is so funny as the baseball player who has an unfortunately biological event during the bee. Drew MacCullum creates an impressive speech impediment for the cute irish schoolgirl character. Sam Peterson is so goofy as Coneybear. Adam Hoak nails the big dorky kid role. Alice Woo is splendid as the kid forced to be perfect by her parents. Lili Galluzzo is great as the lonely child wishing her father would show up. Lastly, Kaela West is confidently cool as the comforter for the losers.

The show ran 1 hour and 45 minutes tonight. They should add an intermission. There even is a perfect time to do this right at “snack time”. Their current Covid policy includes a mandatory vaccine check, but masks are optional.

Cost of a ticket: $30

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee through April 3rd!

Quinn Delaney

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