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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


So blogging again after months of being away is kind of hard...but, I manage. What I typically write about is musical theatre but lately there hasn't been a compelling reason for me to write about it, because there hasn't really been anything out there worthy of discussion. Living in L.A. makes it harder to keep up with the NY theatre scene, but regardless I've managed to keep up with the Great White Way's goings-on. Through the years, touring productions have been shuttled in and out of this fair city which has whetted my appetite for live performance. Unfortunately, in recent time, lack of a really well written show could be part of what has been missing and the reason I've not gone to a show (or wanted to discuss one). I finally break my dry spell with the opening of the L.A. run of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee".

I was thoroughly satisfied after seeing "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" (and no, I won't write "S-A-T-I-S-F-I-E-D" like virtually every reviewer seems to do). The show is quirky, very funny, has immense heart, is well written with great songs and story and the original Broadway cast reunited for this run only! "Spelling Bee" made me laugh & cry (just a little teary actually) and I felt relieved to see a quality Broadway show once again. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Each character had their own backstory and made you feel for their experiences from the very beginning. Keep in mind, the six cast members are so NOT kids, but they did a heck of a job portraying one! As the eccentric Leaf Coneybear, Jesse Tyler Ferguson was hilarious and actually might have been my favorite character of the Bee! His performance not only required him to sing and act, but do some serious physical comedy and while it is easy to overdo that route, his was perfectly timed and performed.

The company as a whole was strong and it was obvious they had a great rapport and enjoyed performing together. Individually though, I didn't think that any one performer stood out more than the other. One of the most interesting characters in "Spelling Bee" is Olive Ostrovsky (played by the multi-talented Celia Keenan-Bolger who was also nominated for a Tony Awarad for this role). While most of the characters are fun, unique and quirky, Olive had the two more sad and heart breaking songs in the show: My Friend the Dictionary and The I Love You Song.

Overall, it was a great production and the energy and chemistry between the cast members was pretty evident. Thank you all for reconvening in LA, we enjoyed you all!


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