Producer David Stone has announce the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, coming to TPAC’s Jackson Hall from March 6-11, for eight performances as part of HCA/TriStar Broadway Across America Nashville.

Spelling Bee 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 SheinkinSpelling Bee features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Jennifer Caprio, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier and choreography by Dan Knechtges.

Including the national tour, there are four North American companies of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. While Spelling Bee continues its Broadway run at the Circle in the Square Theatre, open-ended engagements are also running in Chicago at the Drury Lane Theatre/Water Tower Place and in Boston at the Wilbur Theatre.

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 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.” 

Spelling Bee is clever, witty and improvisational humor at its best,” said Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC’s president and CEO. “It’s not your typical Broadway show. Involving audience members in the actual performance promises a unique experience every night, and can yield simply hilarious results. It’s an adult take on adolescence, allowing our ‘grown up’ audiences to remember the awkward yet humorous moments that we experienced at that age.”

Starring in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are 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). 

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in based on C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, an original play by The Farm improv group in New York City. Spelling Bee had its world premiere production in July 2004 at Barrington Stage Company, Sheffield, MA.  Under the direction of James Lapine, Spelling Bee officially opened Off-Broadway on February 7, 2005 at Second Stage Theatre, where it ran from January 11 through March 20, 2005. The show then moved to Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre (where it continues its run), with previews beginning on April 15, 2005 and an official opening on May 2, 2005. Spelling Bee is produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Co. and Second Stage Theatre.

Tickets for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee range from $20-70, depending upon performance times and seat locations. For tickets, visit the TPAC Box Office (Downtown or at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in The Mall at Green Hills), online at and, or any Ticketmaster outlet, including area Kroger stores and Macy’s.

Parental guidance is suggested for The 25th AnnualPutnamCounty Spelling Bee.

: March 6-11, 2007, Andrew Jackson Hall, Tennessee Performing ArtsCenter (TPAC), 505 Deaderick Street, Nashville


Times: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 8:00 p.m. Friday; 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Saturday; 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $20-70, available at and Box Office (Downtown or at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in The Mall at Green Hills), all Ticketmaster outlets, including area Kroger stores and Macy’s or by calling Ticketmaster, 615-255-ARTS (2787).

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