Friday, March 27, 2009

The 25th Putnam Annual Spelling Bee

WHAT'S THE BEE ABOUT? In the Broadway Musical Comedy, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grownups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser. This hilarious tale of overachievers' angst chronicles the experience of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. A quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time.
- excerpts from Atlantisproductionsinc.com

This post is a week late. Last Friday, March 20, my friends and I went to see the first showing of the latest play in town, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee". The last play I've watched, The West End Story is a tragic love story along the lines of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. So, this time around, the light and comic theme of the spelling bee was a welcome change.

The show lasted around 2 hours and had no intermission in between. The plot was quite simple and the stage design was nothing elaborate. Just a couple of chairs and table. The background was likewise no frills, just a big tarp that says "25th Annunal Putnam Spelling Bee". But, despite the simple props, the show had a lot of flavor to it. For example, the show started with Rona Lisa Peretti (played by Cathy Azanza-Dy) walking along the aisle and greeting the audience with a large trophy in tow. The play also had an innovative concept that enhances audience particiaption. Each night, they have 4 guest spellers from the audience, 2 of whom are celebrities. On the first night of the show, the celebrity guest spellers were Leah Salonga and Jett Pangan of the Dawn. The guest spellers' role was to be contestants of the spelling bee, so they were given words to spell just like the other actors on the play. The unexpected aspect of being a guest speller makes the show fresh and funny.

I love how several actors, like Noel Rayos ( who played Mitch Mahoney, an ex convict on parole turned counselor taking community service) and Johan de la Fuente (who played Leaf Coneybear, a quirky contestant speller) could shift into roles of gay parents in a click. I had to comment how astonishing it is for Joel Trinidad (who played the principal) to pull a straight face and not laugh at the funny meanings and sentences of the spelling words he gave to the contestants. The short introduction given by Rona Lisa Peretti (played by Cathy Azanza-Dy) to each contestant before they spelled was also hilarious. e.g. When she introduced Leah Salonga... she said, " Miss Salonga thinks she used to be a Vietnamese prostitute in her past life." okey, maybe the way I wrote it isn't as funny, but we had some good laughs during the play.

The play was fun, entertaining and hilarious! Plus, I also learned that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser.

The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee is directed by Bobby Garcia and runs from March 20- April 4, 2009 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Bilding, Makati

2 comments:

Best said...

We're selling tickets for the holiday run! :) December 6- Sunday, 8PM @ RCBC. Visit us at http://spellingbee4dbest.weebly.com for tickets and more details!

Best said...

We're selling tickets for the holiday run! :) December 6- Sunday, 8PM @ RCBC. Visit us at http://spellingbee4dbest.weebly.com for tickets and more details!