Special Report by Journalist Luscinda Dickey
Follow the hottest spellers, in musical theatre, on their quest for greatness. And, who will win? It might not be who you expect! To discover the answer, may I suggest a trip to Kernersville where the Kernersville Little Theatre (KLT) presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” artistic directed and music directed by Margaret “Maggie” B. Gallagher.
This all adult cast included many fun characters. I enjoyed how each had a different personality and flare. Leaf Coneybear (Jake Messina) was my favorite speller. To see an adult actor become a happy-go-lucky kid with a great sense of humor was very impressive. Plus Leaf was homeschool just like me! Logainne “Schwartzy” Schwartzandgrubenierre (Grace DiMaio) was another top speller for me. Not only did Logainne hold a lisp the entire show but she also was able to embodied a kid perfectly. And I don’t want to forget William Barfee (Michael Mickiewicz) a very nerdy speller with a kid like, resounding “I know” who “plans to grow up to be handsome.” I also really enjoyed the improv skills of Vice Principal Douglas Panch (James Crowe) and Rona Lisa Peretti (Steffanie Vaughan) as they interacted with four volunteer spellers picked from the audience.
To break up the dramatic and suspenseful spelling there were beautifully sung musical numbers accompanied by live musicians and entertaining dances. You could tell that each element had be carefully orchestrated by Maggie Gallagher.
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is held in Fitzpatrick Auditorium at the Kernersville Elementary School. The “school smell” provided by the venue and the lack of air conditioning in the auditorium combined with the simple staging created the complete picture. I truly felt like I was attending a spelling bee!
KTL should be very proud to be bringing this production to the Triad.