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SRO’s Musical “Spelling Bee” is lighthearted fun for the whole family. A Review!

Courtesy: Standing Room Only (SRO)

– Standing Room Only (SRO) is proud to present…

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
WHEN: June 6-23, Friday & Saturday nights at 8pm, Sunday matinees at 3pm.
WHERE: The Triad Arts Theater, 102 Yelm Ave. E., Yelm WA 98597
TICKETS: $25 General Admission, $20 Senior & Military, $15 Students, $10 Child.
Click here to pre-purchase tickets online.

  • A Review
  • I was not familiar with this musical, nor the script, so every scene was new for me. This show is lighthearted fun for the entire family.
  • This show lends itself to audience participation, which led to many surprises.
  • The diverse cast clearly had a blast, which added to the fun for the audience. Even the few gaffs blended well with the performances.
  • While I was so pleased to see the variety of talent in this show, there were several performers that were show stand-outs:
  • Taylor Barnes as Rona Lisa Peretti/Olive’s Mom was the one cast member who held each scene together, no small task. She began on the The Drew Harvey Theater stage and has been in two Triad performances for SRO. I thought her stature in belting out her lines and songs, the preciseness of the required accent, and her costumes were wonderful. She will evolve in each successive performance, as well.
  • Claudia Simpson-Jones as “Mitch”/Midge Mahony showcases this well-known performer’s range of talent once again to Yelm audiences. What a treat to see her expressions each time a scene called for her presence.
  • Dale Sharp Leaf as Coneybear/Carl Dad clearly brings his extensive performing experience to SRO and The Triad’s stage for the first time. Dale is another thespian who’s range of talent was exhibited in scene changes requiring precise timing. He was on!
  • Jeremy Chenvert as Douglas Panch/Dan Dad/Producer is well-known to SRO audiences after 4 excellent performances in the last 3 years. He adds “Spelling Bee” to his repertoire and even though his lines were short, his stage presence was immensely on display.
  • Ilan Azpilicueta as Chip Tolentino/Jesus is a newcomer to SRO, though I am certain we’ll be seeing his range of talent back at The Triad alot. Ilan was a scene-stealer, he was that good. Ilan has a stage presence beyond his years, as he is a high school sophomore. I was so impressed with his clear enunciation of his lines, his command of his characters, and how easily he worked with his fellow performers. Bravo Ilan!
  • Rounding-out the cast who added each of their own expertise were Savannah Creamer, Abigail Cox, Ramsey Wilson, Becki Perez, Jacob Massie and Zoey Blanch.
  • Dawn Emilia, The Director took on a challenge and assembled a cast and delivered quality community theater for Yelm to enjoy.

AboutThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

“Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience.

“An eclectic group of six mid-pubescent 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 squashing ding of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves a Champion! At least the losers get a juice box.

“A riotous ride, complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius, a fast-paced crowd pleaser and an instant favorite.”

Posted by Steve on June 8, 2019 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Thanks for this great review, Steve! Sure makes me want to see it. And it reminds me how lucky we are to remember Nancy Hillman as the grand master of theatre who came to this community, started with nothing and produced a community of theatrical wonders over a couple of decades of dedication and love to and for live community theatre. I remember when Taylor Simpson Barnes was a little girl in her first Yelm play along with her brother and sister and wonderful parents who were such great supporters and participants of the Drew Harvey/Yelm Theatre experience. And as Dawn Emelia’s talent onstage is outstanding, its so nice to see her directing now. We watched her family grow on stage over the years and now she has talented children to add to the casts. And I remember when Claudia Simpson- Jones entered the Yelm theatre scene…what a talented lady! Nancy’s legacy has flourished and we are the lucky recipients of the culture and joy that theatre brings to our little town. Can’t wait to see the show. After this great review-who wouldn’t want to make it to this play?!

    Comment by marcia keilee on June 12, 2019 at 7:42 am

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