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Cheryl Crouch
IU Auditorium

Last modified: Monday, January 12, 2009

IU Auditorium presents Broadway’s Tony Award-winning 'Spelling Bee' musical

WHAT: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
WHEN: Feb. 3-4, 8 p.m.
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.

Jan. 12, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- On Feb. 3-4, IU Auditorium will present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical comedy that the New York Times calls "riotously funny and remarkably ingenious," and the Wall Street Journal touts as "perfect in every possible way -- that rarity of rarities, a super-smart musical that is also a bona fide crowd-pleaser. An ingenious blend of simplicity and sophistication, it's not merely funny, it's wise."

With witty songs and a cast of memorable characters, Spelling Bee is musical theater at its best. This Broadway hit humorously revisits the universal trials and terrors of the early-teen years.

Spelling Bee

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a warm-hearted musical comedy that will appeal to anyone who has ever gone through the growing pains of adolescence," said Doug Booher, director of IU Auditorium. "We can all relate to these characters -- they are as endearing as they are awkward. Bloomington is going to love this hilarious show."

The show features six young people in the throes of puberty -- overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves -- who learn that winning isn't everything, and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser. This tuneful, offbeat and heartwarming show even offers audience members the (strictly voluntary) opportunity to become part of the action as on-stage spellers.

Spelling Bee is directed by James Lapine, the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winner (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) who also directed the Broadway production. The musical, conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with additional material written by Jay Reiss, features music and lyrics by Tony Award-winner William Finn (Falsettos, Elegies, A New Brain) and a Tony Award-winning book by Rachel Sheinkin.

Show times for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are 8 p.m. Feb. 3-4. Tickets can be purchased at, at the IU Auditorium Box Office (1211 E. Seventh St.), or by phone by calling 812-855-1103.

Spelling Bee is sponsored by show sponsors WTIU; Southern Indiana Pediatrics, LLC; and Regions; and season sponsors Curry Auto Center; B97; the Herald-Times; IU Document Service Centers; and IU Residential Programs and Services. Tickets are $37-$59 for the general public and $19-$40 for IU Bloomington students.