Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TOP STORY >> ‘Spelling Bee’ musical at NPHS

Leader staff writer

The North Pulaski High School drama department will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a musical, to the public at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children.

It is the first musical to be shown in the remodeled auditorium. A tornado destroyed the building in April 2011.

The musical will have live accompaniment by members of the North Pulaski band.

Jackson Reinhardt, one of several student directors, said the spelling bee contestants in the musical are elementary and middle school students who have adult problems. They are all facing adversity.

He went on to describe all of the musical’s characters.

“Barfee is nerdy, gawky and has issues with his stepmom. His real mom believes in him. Leaf is home-schooled. He was the third alternate. He doesn’t know how to spell. He blacks out and spells in a trance,” Reinhardt said.

Student director Maggie Simpson said, “Olive’s parents are not around. Her only friend is the dictionary. Spelling helps her cope. Marcy is basically perfect. She’s smart, athletic — an overachiever. She is tired of winning all the time.

“Chip is perfect, but has flaws. He came back to the spelling bee to defend his title. Logan has two dads. She is head of the gay and straight alliance at her school. She is really political. Her dad, Carl, pushes her to be perfect,” Simpson said.

Reinhardt said Lisa Perretti, another character, competed in the third annual spelling bee. She has hosted the bee for the past four years. The character enjoys spelling in general.

Mitch Mahoney is a comfort counselor. He gives the contestants hugs and juice boxes. It is community service required of the parolee, according to Simpson.

Four volunteers from the audience will be selected to participate in the spelling bee onstage. The musical lasts a little over an hour.

“They should expect to laugh and cry a little. We are doing our absolute best with it. We never disappoint,” Simpson said.

Student director Taylor Watson said, “It is a lot fun. It was a struggle with the technology at first, but now it’s getting easier,”

Performing are Hunter Harness as Chip Tolentino, Madison Pickle as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere, Kris Jerry as Leaf Coneybear, Zach Ingersoll as William Barfee and Dan’s Dad, Javaya Tramble as Marcy Park, Rachel Bradley as Olive Ostrovsky and Jasmine Williams as Rona Lisa Perretti.

The cast also includes Faith West as the understudy and Olive’s Mom, Daniel Gorman as Vice Principal Panch, Clay Bures as Mitch Mahoney, Jackson Reinhardt as Carl’s Dad, Valentino Warren as Leaf’s Dad, William Elliot as Landscape Coneybear, Meghan Crimmins as Marigold Coneybear and Mark Williams as Olive’s Dad.

Jennifer Alaquinez is the director. The technical director is Mary Aycock.