Have you ever watched the spelling bee that comes on sports networks when there are no interesting sports happening? Do you get as enthralled as I do?
Okay, maybe not. But imagine that the spelling bee featured six incredibly quirky (and hilarious) kids, including someone who’s best friend is the dictionary, an elementary school political activist, and someone who has to go into a trance to spell words correctly, and that the bee is staffed by three equally quirky people, including an ex-convict “Comfort Counselor”. Sounds a little more interesting, right?
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee from Lock and Keynote Productions will definitely have you laughing from beginning to end, and it opens tomorrow night at the College of the North Atlantic.
Interested? Read on the find out more!
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee revolves around the experiences of six students as they try to become the championship speller and deal with their own neuroses. They are fed words to spell by Vice-Principal Douglas Perch (Mike Payne), and Rona Peretti (Kara Wilkinson) moderates and provides commentary for the competition. Of course, once one of the spellers spells something wrong, they need someone to comfort them, so we have comfort counselor (and ex-con) Mitch Mahoney (Chris Jackman) to provide hugs and juice boxes.
A lot of the fun of this show comes from the unpredictable nature of it. Sometimes the actors won’t even know which word they will be asked to spell, leading to improv-fun-times. There’s also a huge audience participation factor to Spelling Bee. In fact, four audience members will actually get to be a part of the show as guest spellers. When I stopped by a rehearsal yesterday, they let me join in and it was lots of fun, and I think it would be even more fun during an actual performance. Unfortunately I spelled my word wrong, but maybe you’ll do better!
Lock and Keynote Productions is based out of Ontario, but they have been coming to Corner Brook for the past five summers to host the Musical Theatre Camp at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. This is their first production in Corner Brook, but if things go well, I doubt it will be their last. The actors all seem to be having piles of fun, and who knows, maybe this experience will inspire some of them to create their own theatre groups in Corner Brook.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee opens Thursday, August 26, at 8pm at the College of the North Atlantic in Corner Brook. You can also see it on Friday and Saturday evenings (8pm) or at the matinees on Saturday or Sunday afternoon (2pm). If you’d like to join the cast onstage as a guest speller, simply arrive at the College of the North Atlantic 30 minutes before showtime. Tickets are $15, or $10 for students and seniors, and are available at the door or in advance from Brewed Awakening on West Street.