Lied hosts 'Putnam County Spelling Bee' June 7-8

The Lied Center for Performing Arts, in collaboration with TADA Productions Inc. of Lincoln, will present the Tony Award-winning musical comedy, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" on June 7 and 8. Curtain time for each performance is 7:30 p.m.

"The Lied Center is excited to be working with TADA in bringing one of Broadway's funniest shows, 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,' to Nebraska's 'Home for the Arts,'" said Bill Stephan, executive director of the Lied Center. "This show is a laugh-out-loud musical comedy that can best be described as simply hilarious."

This creative musical tells the funny yet heartwarming story of six quirky competitors and three oddball adults as they participate in a spelling bee championship of a lifetime. The performance features show-stopping musical numbers and a unique twist when audience members (who volunteer prior to curtain time) join the contestants on stage as "guest spellers."

The award-winning TADA Productions Inc. has received national recognition for bringing to the stage the regional premieres of "Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical," "Forbidden Broadway," "Gilligan's Island: The Musical," "The Spidey Project," "Happy Days: A New Musical" and the critically acclaimed touring production of "Side by Side by Sondheim."

The professional cast of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" includes William Maltas as vice principal Douglas Panch, Cris Rook as Rona Lisa Peretti, Steven Rich as Mitch Mahoney, Matt Works as William Barfee, Jessie Cotton as Olive Ostrovsky, Jaci Manning as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Brent Welch as Leaf Coneybear, Natalie Tavlin as Marcy Park, and Patrick Brown as Chip Tolentino.

Brought to the stage in cooperation with Music Theatre International, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" was conceived by Rebecca Feldman with music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin and additional material by Jay Reiss. It opened to popular acclaim on Broadway in 2005, ran for 1,136 performances and won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a musical.

Tickets are available at the Lied Center box office, http://www.liedcenter.org or 402-472-4747.

— Matthew Boring, Lied Center for Performing Arts