Can You Spell R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T and I-N-T-E-R-A-C-T-I-V-E Musical?

April 15, 2009

As an avid fan of musicals I’ve seen my fair share, and I’ve come to one conclusion. Musicals have changed. A lot. The topics have changed, the music has changed, the characters have changed, the relevance of musicals has changed, and even the audience has changed. Think of all the musicals you know that have recently been produced. They don’t all fit into one category.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is by far one example of those mold breaking musicals. For starters, when was the last time you heard of a musical based on a spelling bee? Aside from the quirky topic, this musical is relevant. Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, the youngest and most politically aware of all the spellers, wears an Obama pin on her shirt. I’m sure she was devastated when it was announced at an Illinois show that former Governor Blagojevich would not be able to attend the Spelling Bee due to his impeachment. It’s these little extra touches that make this musical so intriguing, and entertaining to watch, and prevents Spelling Bee from aging. The musical moves forward with time.

Not only is Spelling Bee relevant, but it also interactive. Each performance, a handful of audience members are selected (on a purely voluntary basis) to come up and spell in the Spelling Bee. Audience members who want to sign up are given the chance to do so 30 minutes before the performance, and spellers are selected from that group. As a student speller, you will be on stage for as long as you can spell correctly, just like in a real spelling bee! I’ve never seen a musical where audience members are asked to come on stage and interact with the cast. This concept is so unique and will be a great time, for both audience members and guest spellers.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is definitely a musical I am looking forward to seeing. It’s great to see that this musical continues the tradition of breaking out from the musical stereotype of over the top choreography and singing. Hope to see you all there, and maybe you’ll see me on stage as a guest speller!

–Jennifer Luzes, Marketing/PR Intern

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

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