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Skylight Music Theatre Has Announced Cast and Creative Team for THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE

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Skylight Music Theatre Has Announced Cast and Creative Team for THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE

Skylight Music Theatre today announced the cast and creative team for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, running February 7-23, 2020 in Skylight's beautiful Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.

Winner of two Tony Awards, the musical follows a group of quirky, socially awkward over-achievers who find joy, heartache and purpose as they compete at the regional spelling bee. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee charms audiences with its effortless wit and humor and fast-paced and touching story. Featuring music and lyrics by William Finn (Falsettos, A New Brain) and a Tony Award-winning book by Rachel Sheinkin, it's a wildly funny, riotous ride where winning (and losing) isn't everything.

Brian Cowing will make his Skylight debut as director. Based in Madison, Wis., he has directed at Capital City Theatre, Four Seasons Theatre and Children's Theatre of Madison. As an actor, he was featured in national tours of Annie and Something Rotten.

"There's no denying that comedy really drives this piece," said Cowing. "Spelling Bee is often times described as hilarious, zany, and kooky. But this show also succeeds in bringing true heart and relatability to its characters. The audience gets to experience each character's insecurities, fears, and dreams. It's this balance that makes it such a unique and beloved show."

Part of the charm of the show is that no two performances are ever the same. Four audience volunteers are selected at each performance to participate onstage in scenes, songs, and choreography. Through improvisation and flexibility in the text, each performance is adjusted accordingly.

Music Director for the show is David Bonofiglio, who returns to Skylight after music directing Oklahoma!, Urinetown, The Musical and Pippin. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee includes a live, five-piece band.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee features longtime Skylight favorites and performers making their Skylight debuts. Kaylee Annable (Kiss Me, Kate, 2019) returns as Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre. James Carrington (Five Guys Named Moe, 2019) plays William Barfèe. Ryan Stajmiger (Sweeney Todd, 2017) returns as Leaf Coneybear. Shawn Holmes (The Gospel at Colonus, 2020) will play Mitch Mahoney. Samantha Sostarich (Hairspray, 2018) plays Rona Lisa Peretti. Robby McGhee (Violet, 2016) will be Douglas Panch.

Making their Skylight Music Theatre debuts are Kendyl Ito in the role of Marcy Park; Yando Lopez playing Chip Tolentino, and Amanda Rodriguez as Olive Ostrovsky.

In February 2004, after an initial workshop, the show was given a fuller production, which was co-directed by Feldman and Skylight's current Artistic Director, Michael Unger. The musical opened Off-Broadway in February 2005 and premiered on Broadway in April 2005. This is the first time The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has been produced at Skylight.

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a brilliantly conceived, hilarious, and heartfelt musical that has the delightful distinction of integrating four volunteer audience members into the action of each show," said Unger. "This unique combination of a wonderfully-crafted score and script, and inspired improvisation, offers Skylight audiences a one-of-a-kind experience that will tickle the funny-bone, warm the heart, and remind us all of the quirky misfits we may remember from our past; or even, if we are willing to admit it, that we may know within some small part of ourselves."

In 2005, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee received Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actor. It also won three 2005 Drama Desk Awards and the 2005 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. The show is recommended for ages 12 and up.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Friday, February 7 - Sunday, February 23, 2020

Music and Lyrics by William Finn

Book by Rachel Sheinkin

Conceived by Rebecca Feldman

Directed by Brian Cowing

Music Director David Bonofiglio

Recommended for ages 12 and up

25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE CREATIVE TEAM

Director.............................................................................. Brian Cowing

Music Director....................................................................David Bonofiglio

Costume Designer................................................................... Alexae Visel

Lighting Designer................................................................. Jamie Roderick

Sound Designer............................................................. Tye Hunt Fitzgerald

Stage Manager.................................................................. Allyson Schiller*

* Appearing through an agreement between Skylight Music Theatre and Actor's Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE CAST

Chip Tolentino......................................................................... Yando Lopez*

Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre.............................................. Kaylee Annable

Leaf Coneybear....................................................................... Ryan Stajmiger

William Barfèe....................................................................... James Carrington

Marcy Park.................................................................................. Kendyl Ito*

Olive Ostrovsky.................................................................... Amanda Rodriguez

Rona Lisa Peretti............................................................... Samantha Sostarich

Douglas Panch.......................................................................... Robby McGhee

Mitch Mahoney.......................................................................... Shawn Holmes

*Denotes member of Actors' Equity Association

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

Performances of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are Friday, February 7 through Sunday, February 23 in the Cabot Theatre, Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee.

BOX OFFICE

Tickets available at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, by calling (414) 291-7800, or visiting www.skylightmusictheatre.org

· NOTE: Please let the Box Office know if accessible seating is needed, or if patrons will have a wheelchair or walker.

· Box Office hours are noon - 6 p.m. The Box Office window is also open two hours prior to performances.

· Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more by calling (414) 299-4972 or Email EmilyF@skylightmusictheatre.org

· If you have ADA needs please contact the Box Office (414) 291-7800 or Tickets@skylightmusictheatre.org

· For more information visit www.skylightmusictheatre.org, email info@skylightmusictheatre.org



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