Casting Hall Productions will open the Tony Award-winning musical The 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on Thursday, March 6, at 8:00 p.m. in Warren Enters Theatre, Upton Hall.
Subsequent performances will be held March 7–8 and March 13–14 at 8:00 p.m. and March 8 and 15 at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $15. Tickets for Buffalo State faculty and staff are $10; Buffalo State student tickets are $6. Additionally, the cast will provide a free promotional mini-performance and spelling bee in which the audience can participate on March 6 at noon in the Campbell Student Union Quad.
First introduced on Broadway in 2005, the musical is a hilarious tale of six quirky adolescents trying to find themselves while vying for a spelling championship. The cast also includes three adults.
"I thought this is a musical that our students could relate to," said the show’s director Jennifer Toohey, assistant professor of theater, who joined the faculty in the fall. "I love the music. The composer, William Finn, is great."
Toohey noted that the musical numbers also are challenging, but the actors have mastered the material.
"We have strong cast who have worked hard during rehearsals," she said. "They really have risen to the occasion."
Interestingly, two of the spellers are played by recent alumni of the theater program, Mike Zito, '11, and Brandon Machajewski, '13. Because of the strong singing required and fewer males than females in the theater program, Toohey opened auditions to alumni.
:They have been great mentors to the students," she said.
Spelling Bee is the campus’s annual Andy Anselmo Musical Theater Production, named for the 90-year-old renowned vocal coach who recently committed annual and planned gifts to the college to support a musical each year.
Tickets may be purchased online through the Rockwell Hall box office or by calling (716) 878-3005.