Monday, December 1, 2014
COME AND HAVE FUN AT A MUSICAL SPELLING BEE
"Spelling Bee" started out life as an improvisational play, penned by Rebecca Feldman, but she was encouraged by the late great playwright Wendy Wasserstein to craft it into a musical . The delightful result is thanks to a book by Rachel Sheinkin and the words and music of William Finn.
As adolescents go, this group of six is unique and special. Sitting on stage ready to challenge their brain power is Logainne (Carleigh Schultz) who wants to please her two dads and proudly represent her school's Gay and Lesbian Alliance. Leaf Coneybear (Rick Bennett) boasts his own homemade fashion line of clothing and is determined to overcome his siblings' lack of faith in his abilities. With a chest full of Boy Scout medals, Chip Tolentino (Chris Pearson) has a major problem with a rising situation, one that rhymes with imperfection and rejection.
Imagine what a great speller you could be if you had a magic foot? Just ask William Barfee (Bobby Schultz) who uses that important appendage to figure out the letters before he confidently proclaims them. There is no lack of self-assurance in Marcy Parks (Grace Rizzuto) who was blessed with enough faith in her own abilities to support a third world country. As for Olive (Jess Rubin), she practically takes her dictionary to bed with her in place of a comfy teddy bear.
Speaking of comfort, Mitch Mahoney (Jon Escobar) is on hand to give encouragement, consolation and hugs, as well as a juice box, when the dreaded bell rings to signal a word is misspelled. Serving out his community service, while on parole, Mitch is generous with his words of regret. Rounding out the contest are Rona Perretti (Kaite Corda) who helps with the bee's organization, a job she is well suited for since she won the 3rd Bee years before and the competition's word giver, the vice principal Mr. Panch (Doug Lebelle) who has a dubious past and delights in pressing the "for whom the bell tolls" eliminator. Kris McMurray joyfully puts this talented and skillful cast through its well enunciated paces.
For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Remember to bring goodies to share at your table or buy cake and drinks on site at the delicious dessert bar.
If you're really lucky, you can get one of the four coveted places - on stage- and show off your own spelling skills. Spell F-A-N-A-S-T-I-C Fun!