Archived Story

‘Spelling Bee’ opening Friday, July 16

Published 9:45pm Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Living in an age where LOL, OMG and BFF serve as accepted constructions of many a communiqué and the spell-checker watches our every keystroke, the process of delivering the Merriam-Webster approved alphabetical makeup of any given word may seem a daunting and antiquated process.

Not to the cast of the Beckwith Theatre Company’s latest musical hit. July 16 “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” 2005′s Tony Award recipient for Best Musical, will be the latest theatrical blockbuster to grace the stage of Dowagiac’s Beckwith Theatre Company, now in its 20th season.

This musical comedy shines the spotlight on six adolescents, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime.

This tale of overachiever’s angst created the unlikeliest of hit musicals about the unlikeliest of heroes, a quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out while fitting in.

“This story, which highlights a struggle for small town notoriety, could not have found a better voice than here on a small town stage with Broadway caliber talent,” said Jeff Gunn, president of Beckwith Theatre. “We are all incredibly excited to bring this musical gem to southwest Michigan audiences.”

Additionally, the show will feature an element of audience participation. Every night, four volunteers will be recruited to participate onstage as guest spellers. BTC’s production runs at 8 p.m. on July 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 with additional 2 p.m. matinees on July 18 and 25.

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