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The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at The Goodwood Institute - Review

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by Stacey Canavan (subscribe)
I'm a 29 year old female Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Journalism at The University of South Australia in 2013 & completed my Diploma in Photography
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Daniel Salmond
Daniel Salmond
Marie Clark Theatre Company present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at The Goodwood Institute from October 27th to November 4th. It is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by William Finn and adapted from the book by Rachel Sheinkin. It follows a spelling bee held at Putnam Valley Middle School. Six children complete in the spelling bee to be the top speller.

This is not just your typical musical, be prepared to be part of the show. The bee is run by Rona Lisa Peretti (Sarah Wildy) and Vice Principal Douglas Panch (Jamie Wright) and helper Mitch Maloney (Joseph Giblin). Peretti chooses four audience members to join the bee. They each take in turns along with the cast of six children to spell a word bringing them closer to becoming the 25th Annual Putham Country Spelling Bee Champion.

It is directed by Kristin Telfer, musically directed by Sarah Whiteley and choreographed by Rachel Dow & Rebekah Stonelaitken. The six contests include Olive Ostrovsky (Alisa Jones), Logainne Schwartzgrubenierre (Emily-Jo Davidson), Marcy Park (Naomi Crosby), Chip Tolentino (Angus Robson), Laf Coneybear (Shay Stonelaitken), William Barfee (Ashleigh McFadden).

The four audience guests each took a turn spelling and got through the first round but as the show progressed, it was the six children who made the finals. One at a time they were eliminated but not before singing their song. Olives (James) performance of 'My Friend, The Dictionary' was comical and sassy and had the audience laughing along. Mr Coneybear (Stonelaitken) was next with 'I'm Not That Smart' - this performance was fun and deserved the loud applause the audience gave it.

Mr Barfee (McFadden) has a secret weapon - he sang about a 'Magic Foot' and would spell out the word by moving across the stage with his foot. The song was well rehearsed and the dance moves were strong.

When it was Marcy Park's (Crosby) turn to speak they introduced her with that fact she can speak five languages - that's when she began to sing 'I Speak Six Languages'. This performance was great, featured backup dancers of the ladies in the cast and maps of all her languages.

Sadly, Chip Tolentino (Robson), didn't make it to the final two and his reason for being eliminated had the audience laughing. Tolentino is a very focused person, except when he notices a cute girl in the front row. He wowed the audience with 'My Unfortunate Erection' - this song got a loud applause and the audience were laughing along.

This isn't your typical spelling bee, yes, there were words like 'Mexican' and 'Cow'. There were times when spellers asked for the word in a sentence - Fandango, (I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?) and there were definitions but they were all funny responses.

Overall another hilarious and inspired show by Marie Clark Theatre Company. 5/5 Stars - a must see show featuring raw talent and silly anecdotes that keep you entertained till the last moments. Who will win the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee? Head down to Goodwood Institute to find out.

Dates & Times
Wednesday November 1st at 8pm
Thursday November 2nd at 8pm
Friday November 3rd at 8pm
Saturday November 4th at 2pm & 8pm

Adult - $34
Concession - $29
Child (under 15) - $26
Groups 1030 - $27
Groups 31 - $26

Tickets are available here
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Why? Musical Theatre
When: Nov 1st - 4th
Where: The Goodwood Institute, 166 Goodwood Rd, Goodwood SA 5034
Cost: $26 - $34
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