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The 25th Annual Putnam County SPELLING BEE A Musical in 1 Act (1hr 45 min - intermission): Lyrics by: William Finn; Music by: William Finn; Book by: Rachel Sheinkin. Circle in the Square Theatre, New York; Opened 2 May, 2005. Rebecca Feldman (Concept) James Lapine (Direction) Dan Knechtges (Choreography) Michael Starobin (Orchestrations) Vadim Feichtner (Musical Direction) Beowulf Boritt (Scenic Design) Jennifer Caprio (Costume Design) Natasha Katz (Lighting Design) Dan Moses Schreier (Sound Design) Marty Kopulsky (Hair and Wig Design) Synopsis A junior high school gym is set up to host the county spelling finals. Winners from local elementary and middle schools begin to arrive and check in with the bee's long-time hostess—and Former champion—Rona Lisa Pereti. Audience volunteers are also welcomed to the stage. A glitch: Speller Olive Ostrovsky does not have her entrance Fee; she hopes her father will set there soon to straighten it out. Vice Principal Douglas Panch of Lake Hemingway-Dos Passos Junior High is announced as the day's word pronouncer - he's a last minute substitute for an ailing superintendent. Panch has a dubious track record at the bee but will try to do better this time. The rules are explained. When a speller misses a word a bell will ring - ding - and the speller must immediately leave the stage, escorted, by the bee's coumfort-counsellor, Mitch Mahoney. The Spelling Begins Ten-year old Logainne Schwarzandsrubeniere, whose two dads have helped her train for the event, gets through "strabismus' despite a potentially incapacitating lisp. Leaf Coneybear, second runner up in his own bee, surprises himself and his family in the audience by spelling his word correctly. Olive interrupts her own spelling to protect the chair she saved for her dad. Soon spellers begin to fall. Chip Tolentino, lost year's Putnam champion, leads spellers in grumbling about the inconsistent word level, a point brought home when Marcy Park, Catholic school representative, nails 'phylactery' and the very next speller gets 'telephone'. Leof gets another word he's never heard of and amazes himself by finding the correct spelling within. But no one has a technique as remarkable as that of the boy with the rare mucus membrane disorder, William Barffe, who spells his words out with his foot. As spellers continue to fall, Chip is distracted by Leaf 's sister in the audience. Why did she have to wear such a fuzzy sweater? Losing concentration Chip backtracks to spell a word correctly — in violation of the rules, which state that you, cannot adjust letters once spoken. Comfort counselor Mitch Mahoney marvels at the odd anthropology of the event- and tries to teach future eliminated spellers to exit with some dignity. AF the snack break, Chip is made to help wth the PTA bake sale. Humiliated, he begins throwing snacks into the audience. He also throws peanuts at the highly allergic William Barfee. Olive comes William's aid but unused to sympathy, he initially responds with hostility. Really the only thing to do is to continue spelling but 'Schwarzy' first takes a moment to thank her dads. Round after round of spelling continues in fast-motion. These last five are fierce and furious spellers; no one's getting anything wrong. Park doesn't even hesitate, Barfee's foot is unfailing and Coneybear is realising the