Get out your dictionaries and prepare for a H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S night at the UDM Theatre Company’s and the Marygrove College Music Department’s A-D-U-L-T musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Opening November 13 and playing a limited two week engagement till November 22, 2009 at the Marygrove College Theatre, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is sure to warm your heart, challenge your spelling skills and have you humming all the H-O-M-E!

This Tony award-winning musical is fresh off the national tour and recently closed on Broadway after nearly 1,200 performances. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee captures the corky competition of a county spelling bee with all the usual suspects that are in the throes of puberty. From the reigning spelling champion, to the overachiever with the lisp, the overweight kid with a host of health problems, and the second alternate that never expected to compete; they all unite through their love of spelling. Originally produced on Broadway by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company, Second Stage Theatre, the “Spelling Bee” is recommended for theatregoers 13 and over for its adult content.

In each performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling four different audience volunteers will be chosen to participate in the actual spelling bee live on stage making each performance unique! Volunteer spellers are encouraged to arrive to the theatre 30 minutes prior to curtain on the day of the performance to sign up to be selected to spell.

Along with the four volunteer spellers are Darrius Washington (Detroit, MI) as Chip Tolentino, Anne C. Di Iorio (Farmington Hills, MI) as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere, Maxwell C. Bolton (Birmingham, MI) as Leaf Coneybear, Joel A. Frazee (Bluffton, OH) as William Barfee, Catherine Dacpano Menzies (Macomb, MI) as Marcy Park and Susan Boonenberg (Dearborn, MI) as Olive Ostrovsky. Erica Cole (Detroit, MI) as Rona Lisa Perretti and Steven Ploe (Detroit, MI) as Vice Principal Douglas Panch will monitor the Spelling Bee making sure all of the words are spelled correctly. The Spelling Bee will also feature Dez Walker (Royal Oak, MI) as Mitch Mahoney and Olive’s Dad, Angel Shakespeare (Farmington, MI) as Olive’s Mom, Rob Hammond (Troy, MI) as Carl Grubenierre, Emmanuel Carter (Inkster, MI) as Dan Schwarz and Chris Jakob (Detroit, MI) as Jesus Christ.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman and additional material by Jay Reiss. It will be directed by Greg Grobis and musical direction by Shawn McDonald. The creative team includes David Regal (Artistic Director), Melinda Pacha (Costume Design), Mark Choinski (Scenic Design), Kathleen Lanphear (Lighting Design), Matthew Lira (Stage Manager) and Hannah Reddy (Asst. Stage Manager).

Tickets for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are $20 for general admission, $16 for discount admission (senior citizens, UDM and Marygrove faculty, staff, and alumni), $13 for students and $9 for UDM and Marygrove students. Please note a $3.00 service fee per order for non-subscribers.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’s performances are November 13 through 22, 2009, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. at the Marygrove Theatre on the campus of Marygrove College, 8425 W. McNichols Rd Detroit MI 48221.

The Theatre Company’s box office is located in Reno Hall on the University of Detroit Mercy campus. Hours of operation are NOON through 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. The box office will move on the day of the performance to the Marygrove Theatre and will open 45 minutes prior to curtain. For tickets, call the theatre box office at 313-993-3270 or reserve your tickets online at


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