The cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, directed by Matthew McCoy, at Alcazar Theatre for Bay Area Musicals!
The cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, directed by Matthew McCoy, at Alcazar Theatre for Bay Area Musicals!
(© Ben Krantz Studio)

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee begins performances tonight at Alcazar Theater.

The musical-comedy from William Finn (music and lyrics) and Rachel Sheinkin (book) centers around an eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vying to win the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping to never hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life-unaffirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake.

The cast consists of Antonio Rodriguez III (Chip Tolentino/Jesus Christ/Olive Dad), Cecily Schmidt (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre), David Glazer (Leaf Coneybear/Carl Dad), Nick Rodriguez (William Barfee), Catrina Manahan (Marcy Park), Alexandria Ortega (Olive Ostrovsky), Nicole Frydman (Rona Lisa Peretti/Olive Mom), Kirk Johnson (Douglas Panch), and Lavale Davis (Mitch Mahoney/Dan Dad). Matthew McCoy directs, choreographs, and serves as set designer.

"This new, contemporary musical is just what the doctor ordered during election season," says McCoy. "Theater can be the strongest form of healing medicine when done properly. With everything going on around us in the world, who couldn't use a good laugh right now? Our version will have all of the laughs and heart it's known for. This show was a knock out last time it appeared in San Francisco and we are excited to bring it back."

The creative staff includes Katie Iannitello (costume designer), Julie Indelicato (sound designer), Stewart Lyle (technical director), and Annie Tillis (stage manager).

Performances run through December 3.

For more information and tickets, click here.