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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Stage16 and Winnipeg Studio Theatre / Winnipeg

Posted: 07/6/2010 1:58 PM | Comments: 0

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The offbeat musical crowd-pleaser The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is the definition of good fun.

At a time when the TV audiences can’t enough of competitions where contestants get booted off, along comes this Survivor for nerds, offering a sweet, funny trip back to middle school angst. The exuberant local amateur production of the 105-minute William Finn Broadway hit spells outs all the agonies and ecstasies of a competitive bee and comes out the winner.

The six main students are a familiar showcase of adolescent awkwardness. Standouts in director Kayla Gordon’s strong cast are pure-voiced Jillian Willems as Olive, a heartbreaker of a girl who spends too much time on her own; Dorothy Carroll as the lovable, lisping do-gooder Logainne; and Nyk Bielak as the brainy, sinus-challenged know-it-all who spells with his feet.

To Bee or not to Bee, there is no question.

— Kevin Prokosh
 

From the official Fringe Festival guide:

In this hilarious and clever Tony Award-winning musical, six adolescent outsiders in the throes of puberty learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser. Spelling Bee is quirky, unexpected and full of grown-up g-o-o-f-i-n-e-s-s.

From the creative team that brought you the sold-out, smash-hit productions Hair and Altar Boyz.

Directed by Kayla Gordon


www.spellingbeewinnipeg.com

Warnings: Mild Language
RECOMMENDED:
General Audience

105 min

PTE Mainstage (Venue 16), to July 25

Tickets: $10

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