Spelling-bound

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 8, 2009

They are under adult supervision, technically. The moderator is Rona Lisa Peretti (Katie Travers). She is proud to have won the third annual spelling bee with the word "syzygy." Sitting next to her is vice-principal Douglas Panch (Benjamin Rose), who has an unrequited thing for Ms. Peretti and a volatile temper that got them in trouble at the 20th annual competition. We soon look forward to his coming up with example sentences upon request, such as: "Billy, put down that phylactery — we're Episcopalians!" A third grown-up is Mitch Mahoney (Kyle Viverito), acting as the Official Comfort Counselor, commiserating with losers as he leads them off stage. He's on parole, and this is his community service.

Although most of the songs are feeble, these voices certainly are not, especially the honied sopranos of Travers and Tougas.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is being performed with two casts, but the above opening night actors are performing most of the shows.

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