For the Metro Wire
Get ready to laugh as the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau’s Department of Theatre presents the high-spirited musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” featuring a cast of student and community actors including WSAW Sunrise 7 news anchor and producer Sean Caldwell.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, and Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 8-10. Matinees are offered at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 and 11. The production will be staged at the James F. Veninga Theater, 625 Stewart Ave., Wausau.
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” debuted on Broadway in 2005 and centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the bee with the goal of bringing home the title and trophy.
Three equally quirky grown-ups run the contest, including Caldwell’s character, Vice Principal Douglas Panch, and Rona Lisa Peritti, a prominent real estate agent and former Putnam County Spelling Bee champion, played by community member Mary Sharfinek. UW-Stevens Point at Wausau students comprise the rest of the 11-member cast.
“As part of a popular feature of this musical, audience volunteers take turns at the microphone as Panch and Peritti take us all on a journey through some of the most esoteric words, definitions and example sentences found in the English language,” said Communications-Theatre Arts Professor Sarah Rudolph, who directs the play. Julie Burgess is the production’s musical director.
Tickets are $18 for general admission, $15 for senior citizens and other students. UW-Stevens Point at Wausau students are free with a valid student I.D. Tickets will be available for purchase online at http://uwmc.uwc.edu/arts/theatre, by calling 715-261-6290 or at the James F. Veninga Theater Box Office one hour before each performance.
A group rate of $10 per ticket is also available, call 715-803-3165 for details.