The first national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee kicks off at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, with performances beginning on September 19, 2006. The musical is directed by James Lapine, the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) who also directed the Broadway production. The musical, conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with additional material written by Jay Reiss, features music and lyrics by Tony Award-winner William Finn (Falsettos, Elegies, A New Brain) and a Tony Award-winning book by Rachel Sheinkin.
In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser. This tuneful, offbeat and at times heartwarming show offers audience members the opportunity (strictly voluntary) to become part of the action as on-stage spellers. "Can you spell i-r-r-e-s-i-s-t-i-b-l-e? Spelling Bee is riotously funny and remarkably ingenious. Gold stars all around," says the New York Times. In the Wall Street Journal, Spelling Bee was called, "perfect in every possible way - that rarity of rarities, a super-smart musical that is also a bona fide crowd-pleaser. An ingenious blend of simplicity and sophistication, it's not merely funny, it's wise."
The national tour cast is made up of: Katie Boren (Marcy Park), Miguel Cervantes (Chip Tolentino), Alan H. Green (Mitch Mahoney), James Kall (Douglas Panch), Eric Petersen (William Barfee), Jennifer Simard (Rona Lisa Peretti), Sarah Stiles (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre), Lauren Worsham (Olive Ostrovsky) and Michael Zahler (Leaf Coneybear).