Broadway Bullet Interview: Spelling Bee's New Actors
Stanley Bahorek played Leaf Coneybear in the San Francisco and Boston productions of Spelling Bee. He also appeared in the National Tour of Big River. He is graduate of the University of Michigan. www.stanleybahorek.com
Jenni Barber played the role of Olive Ostrovsky in the San Francisco and Boston productions of Spelling Bee. In New York, she has also appeared in Henry and Mudge, and The High Life. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
For more information, and for tickets to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, click here.
Broadway Bullet: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has just passed its second anniversary, and the new cast just came in on April 17th. With us today, we have two of those members, Jennni Barber and Stanley Bahorek.
Jenni Barber: Hi!
Stanley Bahorek: Hi there.
BB: How are you guys doing?
BB: So, one thing that really interests me about both of you with the show is: you both are kind of making your Broadway debut with the show, and you've both taken the route of -- you've done a couple of regional productions of Spelling Bee before moving here into the New York produciton.
JB: Yeah, we both -- in January 2006, we rehearsed with the First National Company before they even had the tour; we were the National Company and we opened the show in San Francisco, and did that for seven months, and then went to Boston, and did that for three months, and then we had a few months off, and then they decided to bring us to New York. So, we've done it for about a year now.
BB: So how did you find out about the regional situations, to get involved?
SB: I read about it online, that there was going to be a production in San Francisco, and [I] happend to be in LA when they were auditioning, on the West Coast, for actors for the show, and I think I had heard that they were trying to cast it from the West Coast, so I just went to an audition while I was out there.
JB: Yeah, I actually got it from -- it was an agent's submission. They brought a lot of people, [that] they saw on the West Coast, over to New York, to meet with the creative team, and they kind of supplemented with some people from New York, so I got really lucky to be seen in the group.
BB: Okay, so you [Stanley] were in LA, and you [Jenny] were in New York, but both of you went to college together originally.
JB: Yes, (laughter) we both went to the University of Michigan.
BB: So, was it odd that you ended up working together again after that?
SB: We heard through a professor, somebody who taught both of us when we -- did I call you first?
JB: Yeah, you called me. It was over like, Christmas Break, and I had gone to Ohio for a little bit -- We're both from Ohio as well -- And he called me, and was like, "Do you know we're going to be in a show together?"
JB: Again. So funny. It was great; I was so happy. Yeah.
BB: I got to stop making fun of Ohioans; that's, like the, default state that I mention when I mention tourists on the showI shouldn't do that.