Rebecca Feldman and The Farm
Initially, Rebecca Feldman created C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, an improvisational play and it was turned into a theatrical production by The Farm, a comedy group belonging to New York. Later on, it was recommended that William Finn should take over the music and lyrics of the play and turn it into a full length comedy musical. After bringing Rachel Sheinkin onboard, Finn and Feldman worked on this new production and transformed C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E into The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee, as we know it today.
After doing extensive homework on the structure of the play, it was developed for the first time for the stage by Barrington Stage Company, Massachusetts. Julianne Boyd was the artistic director and the show finally premiered in July, 2004. After substantial success, the musical was transferred to Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre. Here, it managed to earn critical acclaim as well as box office success. In April of 2005, the musical also premiered at Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre, yet again to commercial success. The production also took home two Tony Awards. Since then, The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee has been adapted by theatres across the world.
The Woes of Victory and Loss
The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee – The Musical is a hilariously riotous story of six adolescents, William, Olive, Logainne, Leaf, Chip and Marcy, who are struggling through the confusing and almost tiring period of growing up. The six of them compete in Putnam County’s contest, where eventually they learn that winning isn’t everything and that failure doesn’t really make one a loser. The six of them are overseen by two grownups, who have problems of their own and have barely managed to survive their own childhoods. The portrayal of overachievers and their angst which chronicles six teenager’s experience in such a hilarious way is something that only the team of Feldman, Sheinkin and Finn could have created.
Apart from that, the unique characters that have so masterfully been presented in every aspect of reality is remarkable. There is your good boy and former champion Chip, socially awkward Logainne, the misfit Leaf, the confident but weird William, the perfect Marcy and the troubled but sweet Olive. The adults, who play the role of Bee Moderators are Douglas and Rona, and the comfort counselor is Mitch. These three have their own funny yet disturbing roles to play as well.
Spelling Bee at Ford’s Theatre
One thing that you got to love about Finn’s shows is the way he manages to draw characters who are perfect in their flaws, making them relatable and real. He has done it again, this time in the production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which will be presented at Ford’s Theatre stage this March. The way that the creative team has managed to bring onto stage the personalities of six adolescents, who go far from their own archetypes and portray the adults they are going to become, is something worth seeing. Plus, that is not all – the show also combines reality with comedy, so one can expect a lot of refreshing laughter as well. This upcoming quirky yet heartwarming comedy is something that is going to entertain many who enjoy a good laugh by the end of the day.