Theater Review: Spelling Bee
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee AACI, Jerusalem,October 25.
Spelling Bee Photo: Sarit Brown
Can you spell “syzygy,” let alone know what it means, cite its language of
origin or use it in a sentence? Just ask the cast of the J-Town Playhouse
The final performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County
Spelling Bee’s run at the Jerusalem AACI was sold out, but that did not deter
the capital’s theatergoers, who lined up prior to curtain time to purchase
standing-room- only tickets. Presented by the local amateur theater group, the
Tony-winning Broadway musical comedy by William Finn and Jay Reiss, based on the
book by Rachel Sheinkin, hit just the right chord with the crowd.
a fictitious town in the United States, the play centers around the hopes and
dreams of a small group of quirky middle school finalists who are vying to earn
the prestigious title of spelling bee champion. The words they are asked to
spell are real corkers. And when each contestant asks for his or her word to be
used in a sentence, the illustrative examples are hilarious.
As for the
performance itself, the singing may not have been pitch perfect and the dancing
may have been a little too restricted by the small stage, but it was all done
with such energy and enthusiasm that it was endearing.
For an Anglo
audience in Israel that is always thirsting for good material in English, this
play fit them to a T. As one of the audience members commented after the
performance, “I knew it was a musical, but I didn’t know it would be so funny.”
In fact, as the audience jostled their way out of the crowded theater, they all
had big smiles on their faces.
An additional performance of Spelling Bee
will take place at AACI Netanya on November 8. For more information, call (09)
833-0950. There will also be an upcoming performance in Ma’aleh Adumim. For more
information, call AACI Jerusalem at (02) 566-1181.