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Photos: First Look at 'SPELLING BEE' at CT Rep

What do you get when you throw six quirky kids bubbling with adolescence, three frazzled school administrators trying to relive their glory days, a live band, and four new audience members each night into a spelling bee? Magic. Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) will present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee onstage at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre tomorrow, November 20th, through December 7th. Winner of Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Theatre World and Tony Awards in 2005, Spelling Bee will delight audiences. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling features a book by Rachel Sheinkin, music and lyrics by William Finn, and additional material by Jay Reiss. Conceived by Rebecca Feldman, this musical is intriguing not only for its peculiar characters but for the surprising audience interaction, with four audience competitors joining the cast each night.

Led by Rona Lisa Peretti (Blythe Wilson), the number one realtor in Putnam County, and the lovesick, fiber-filled Vice Principal Douglas Panch (Mark Harapiak), all six peculiar spellers and four lucky audience members compete for the title of champion. Each contestant is just hoping to go home to their individually insane families with more than a juice box from ex-convict/comfort counselor Mitch Mahoney (Melvin Abston). However, Olive, Barfée, Schwarzy, Marcy Park, Leaf Coneybear, and Chip all find that, maybe, winning the spelling bee doesn't mean getting a trophy; it means earning the right to spell your own destiny. Come enjoy the show that features a Grammy Award winning cast album and a crew of characters that's sure to have you jumping from your seat and spelling with the best of them.

Paul Mullins (Director) returns to CRT where he staged last season's Much Ado About Nothing. Sara Andreas (Choreographer) returns to CRT having last choreographed Spring Awakening here in 2012. The design team also includes Lindsay Duval (Co-Scenic Designer), Tim Brown (Co-Scenic Designer), Chris Jones (Lighting Designer), Raven Ong (Costume Designer), Brandon Purstell (Co-Sound Designer/Mixer) and Abigail Golec (Co-Sound Designer) and Production Stage Manager Julien Winter Tremblay*.

The 'SPELLING BEE' cast features Blythe Wilson, Mark Harapiak, Melvin Abston, Whitney Andrews, Kent Coleman, Julia Estrada, Gavin McNicholl, Gina Salvatore, and Ryan Shea.

For tickets and information, call 860-486-2113 and visit

Photo Credit: Gerry Goodstein

Photos: First Look at 'SPELLING BEE' at CT Rep
BFA Acting majors Kent Coleman, Gavin McNicholl, Julia Rose Estrada, Ryan Shea, Whitney Andrews and Equity Guest Artist Blythe Wilson create pandemonium in THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE

Photos: First Look at 'SPELLING BEE' at CT Rep
BFA Acting Senior Gina Salvatore as Schwartzy, BFA Acting Sophomore Gavin McNicholl and Equity Guest Artist Melvin Abston as her two dads

Photos: First Look at 'SPELLING BEE' at CT Rep
BFA Sophomore Ryan Leaf steps up to the microphone, while BFA Senior Whitney Andrews looks on

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