Let the spelling begin! H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S is how many critics describe the Tony Award® winning musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which opened the 78th season at Theatre By The Sea on June 1.
Sponsored by Meridian Printing, this funny, touching and interactive Tony Award-winner focuses on six adolescent overachievers who are vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Not only do they compete against each other, they also compete against members of the audience. Overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escaped childhood themselves, this quirky, yet charming cast of outsiders, for whom a spelling bee might be the only place they can fit in, learns that winning isn't everything and losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee contains adult language and mature content.
Ocean State Theatre Company, the not-for-profit producing entity at the historic Theatre By The Sea, is thrilled to welcome back Broadway performer Lisa Yuen, who was in the original Broadway company of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Ms. Yuen, who played Christine Colgate in Theatre By The Sea's production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2009), will not only be playing the role of Marcy Park, but will choreograph the production as well. OSTC's Producing Artistic Director Amiee Turner, returns to the director's chair with TBTS regular Tim Robertson returning as music director. The pair were at the helm for last season's highly acclaimed production of Little Shop of Horrors. Cary Michele Miller, who starred as Peter Pan in TBTS's 2009 production of Peter Pan, portrays the role of Olive Ostrovsky, with BroadwayWorld Award-winner, Michael J. Borges, in the role of Leaf Coneybear. Ocean State Follies cast member and North Providence resident, Michael Johnson, who appeared in last season's popular production of The Full Monty, returns to Theatre By The Sea in the role of Douglas Panch. Massachusetts native Steve Gagliastro will be playing William Barfee and recent Emerson graduate Nathan Chang joins the Intern Program for the summer and has been cast as Chip Tolentino.
Audiences are invited to enhance their theatre experience by dining in the casual, contemporary, and creative atmosphere of Bistro by the Sea, just a short stroll down the arbor walk adjacent to the theatre. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling (401) 789-3030 after 3:00 pm. Before or after the meal theatergoers can enjoy the lush seaside gardens maintained by Dana Designs, which contain over 300 varieties of perennials, grasses, shrubs and climbing plants, offering a magical environment for flower lovers of all ages.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be presented at Theatre By The Sea through June 19. Opening weekend performances will be held on Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 4:30 and 8:30 pm and Sunday at 3:00 and 8:00 pm. All other performances will be held Tuesday through Friday evenings at 8:00 pm, Thursdays at 2:00 pm, Saturdays at 4:30 and 8:30 pm and Sundays at 5:00 pm. The theatre is located at 364 Cards Pond Road, Matunuck, RI. Tickets are $35 for preview performances and $39-$54 for all other performances. Discount rates for groups of 20 or more are available by calling (401) 782-3800 x18. Rush tickets are available on a limited basis one hour prior to curtain on the day of the performance. Tickets are on sale at the box office Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, online anytime at www.theatrebythesea.com and via telephone during normal box office hours by calling (401) 782-TKTS (8587). The box office will also be open one hour prior to every performance.
Photo Credit: Mark Turek
(from left) Joanna Krupnick, Nathan Chang, Steve Gagliastro, Michael J. Borges, Cary Michele Miller and Lisa Yuen (on floor)
(front row from left) Cary Michele Miller, Steve Gagliastro, Joanna Krupnick,(middle) Lisa Yuen, (back row from left) Nathan Chang, and Michael J. Borges
(front from left) Cary Michele Miller, Joanna Krupnick, Steve Gagliastro, (rear from left) Michael Gregory Johnson, Michael J. Borges, Lisa Yuen, Terrence Oliver, Caitlin McGinty, and Nathan Chang
Caitlin McGinty and Michael Gregory Johnson portray Rona Lisa Peretti and Vice Principal Douglas Panch
Broadway performer Lisa Yuen portrays the role of Marcy Park
Nathan Chang, a participant in Ocean State Theatre Companyâ€™s 2011 Internship Program, portrays the role of Chip Tolentino