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impossible: that he might, after all, be smart, until "ding" Leaf misses on yeoman, all-too-reasonably leaving out the "e". The bell's echo sends him off — in his own mind, undefeated. The final four. Miss Park looks unbeatable. After all, Rona tells us, this girl speaks five languages. But Marcy's had enough. Sick of being presented as the perfect student; she launches into a protest, which at once shows off her skills and bemoans their tyranny in her life. Only Jesus' unexpected entrance gives this parochial school girl permission to liberate herself from perfection. Down to three and Schwarzy wants it bad. But Panch is tired of all the questions, and loses his temper at her thorough questioning. One of Schwarzy's dads runs onstage, ostensibly to comfort his distraught daughter, but really to plant sabotage — the target is Barfee's magic foot. Meanwhile Olive's father leaves a message with Rona: he's stuck at work, and will have to discuss the entrance fee later. Olive struggles to keep spelling. On Barfee's turn, the foot sabotage half works — he encounters a sticky substance that derails his technique — but he rallies and finds he can spell without the foot. It's anyone's bee. Only, "ding" not Schwarzy's. She's defeated by her own thorough thinking, overcomplicating a simple word. Down to two: Olive and Barfee. As they go head to head, they find joy in their sense of competence and connection. And Barfee has a new, unsettling experience: worrying about someone else. Still, only one can take home the two hundred dollar savings bond — and in the end it is William who outspells them all and tearfully accepts cheque and trophy. Panch then announces a surprise runner-up cash prize. It happens to match the amount of the entrance fee that Olive still owes — and it happens to came out of Panch's own wallet — but Olive, none the wiser, is thrilled. Rona gets the gesture — and her acknowledgment makes even vice Principal Panch feel like a winner. Rachel Sheinkin MUSICAL NUMBERS The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - Company The Spelling Rules/my Favourite Moment of the Bee - Panch, Rona and Spellers My Friend the Dictionary - Panch, Rona, Olive & Company The First Goodbye - Company Pandemonium - Chip & Company I'm Not That Smart - Leaf Coneybear The Second Goodbye - Company Magic Foot - Mr. Barfee & Company Pandemonium (Reprise) - Chip, Mitch, Rona & Company My Favourite Moment of the Bee 2 Prayer of the Comfort Counsellor - Mitch & Company Why We Like Spelling - Spellers My Unfortunate Erection (Chip's Lament) - Chip Woe Is me - Schwarzy, Schwarzy' Dads & Company I'm Not That Smart (Reprise) - Coneybear I Speak Six Languages - Marcy & Girls The I Love You Song - Olive, Rona & Mitch Woe Is me (Reprise) - Schwarzy & Company My Favourite moment of the Bee 3 Second - Rona, Olive, Barfee & Company Finale - Company The Last Goodbye - The Company