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Original 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Stars Reunite for Benefit Concert

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler, and more led the one-night-only tribute to the musical and its original stage manager, the late Andrea "Spook" Testani Gordon.

A moment of jubilation onstage during the grand finale of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee reunion concert.
(© David Gordon)

The original stars and scores of alumni from William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee reunited for a one-night-only concert on Monday, July 6, at Town Hall. The evening served as a memorial for Andrea "Spook" Testani Gordon, the beloved production stage manager of the original Broadway and off-Broadway production, who died on November 30, 2014, following a battle with cancer. The event raised over $200,000 for the Actors Fund's Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative.

Original Spelling Bee stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Derrick Baskin, Lisa Howard, and Jay Reiss are thrilled to reunite.
(© David Gordon)

Codirected by James Lapine (who helmed the original production) and Darren Katz, the evening featured original Spelling Bee cast members Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lisa Howard, Jose Llana, Jay Reiss, Sarah Saltzberg, and Dan Fogler, who won a Tony Award for his performance in the musical, alongside original tour cast member Jenni Barber, who took on the role originated by Celia Keenan-Bolger. (Keenan-Bolger joined her fellow cast members onstage during the show's finale.) Vadim Feichtner and Carmel Dean served as musical directors.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson gives a big hug to John Gordon, husband of the late original Spelling Bee stage manager Andrea "Spook" Testani Gordon, for whom the concert served as a benefit.
(© David Gordon)
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