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25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

April 4, 2009 and I almost missed the chance to watch this musical by Atlantis Production. Off course another masterpiece by Director Bobby Garcia.

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a one act musical comedy with music and lyrics by William Finn adapted from the book written by Rachel Sheinkin. The show centers around a fictional spelling bee set in a fictional place called Putnam Valley Middle School (however, Putnam County, NY does have a village called Putnam Valley). Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally-quirky grown-ups.

This musical is more than what it shows. It is funny and very entertaining, Johann dela Fuente's portrayal of Leaf Coneybear for instance make me laugh all the time but behind those funny gestures are serious issues on family and personality. It is good to see Carla Guevarra-Laforteza and Felix Rivera again in one musical playing Olive Ostrovsky and Chip Toletino repectively even though their charecters didn't directly relate to each other. Felix is indeed one of my idol in Musical theater now. Heralded as the Golden boy of Philippine Musical Theater, Felix has been the face of a perfect performer on stage becoming an inspiration to everyone who are still starting their career as a musical performer.

This is also the first time I saw Johann performing on stage. Because recently he make himself busy behind the stage, but now he is going back on the spotlight showing his acting and singing prowess.

And Finally my favorite among all of them, William Barfee played by Rycharde Everley who plays Bryan in the recent Atlantis production Avenue Q. Rycharde didn't fail to make me laugh everytime he does that magic foot tingy plus his eccentric look gave him the advantage for getting everyone's attention all the time.

The musical is also notorious for its special guest spellers. Yes, other than the 6 contestants, there would be numerous on the spot sign up for other spellers. If you are picked as one of them, you will literally join the 6 spellers on stage up to the moment you mispelled the words given to you. In my case, the only celebrity speller I know that made the cut is Ms. Aiza Seguerra who performed well since she is also a stage actor herself. In fact she played Gary Coleman in Avenue Q with Fekix, Carla, Rycharde, Joel and Thea. On the previous performances Jet Pangan and Lea Salonga are also picked to become the celebrity guest spellers.

Indeed Spelling Bee is another addition to Mr. Bobby Garcia's lengthy resume of Musicals. And because of the positive reviews, he got a surprise for everyone who haven't watched this production.

Yes, you heard it right. Spelling Bee will be returning this coming July. So to everyone who missed it, contact Atlantis Productions at 892-7078 or Ticketworld at 891-9999 to reserve your tickets and don't miss to witness this one of a kind musical that sharpens not only your mind but also your soul.

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