The cast of Secondary Characters’ production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. (Submitted)

The most h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s spelling bee you’ll ever see in Chilliwack

Secondary Characters Musical Theatre hits the stage with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

A spelling bee, audience participation and endless humour will come together to spell out Secondary Characters’ upcoming theatre performance that hits the stage this week.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre July 18 to 28, presented by Secondary Characters Musical Theatre.

Winner of the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the continent with its effortless wit and humor.

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake.

“What I love most about this production is the willingness and commitment the actors give to the production,” says director Randy Newbury.

“It takes an actor willing to abandon themselves from their everyday life to immerse themselves into the mind of a 12-year-old, pre-pubescent kid and my hat goes off to Ethan Falk, Emily Smith, Brady Moore, Chris Sherwood, Steffi Munshaw and Jessica Spenst for doing exactly that.”

The show will be performed in the Rotary Hall Studio Theatre at the Cultural Centre where audiences will, delight in the stage’s transformation to the school gymnasium of their childhood.

This hilarious show is a riotous ride, complete with audience participation. Each night, four audience members are asked to participate in the spelling bee with the cast.

Local celebrities such as Mayor Ken Popove and former Lieutenant Governor Steven Point will be making guest appearances in the bee.

“The audience members are my favourite part of the show,” says artistic director Shelley Wojcik. “They add an element of improvisation. Cast members never know if they’ll get the words right or not and have to change the show accordingly. Each night will be a completely different performance. Even the orchestra has to be on their toes as the songs come in at different times based on how the audience members spell the words.”

Show times: July 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees July 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets $25/adult, and $22/students and seniors. Preview tickets (July 18) are $18. Tickets available at the Centre Box Office or by calling 604-391-7469.

For more, go to secondarycharacters.org.


 

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jenna.hauck@theprogress.com

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