The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee
The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee was a huge hit off-Broadway. It won a lot of awards, made back their cash and moved on up to Broadway.
I have seen a few plays that have attempted to make that transition. Urinetown which I thought was horrible and did not make the transition at all. The other was Caroline or Change where I walked out at intermission. Sometimes there is something about the small theater that creates an ambiance for a play that doesn’t translate into a big venue. Also, paying $40 a ticket is different than paying $100 a ticket. Your expectations are different.
I heard that the Spelling Bee was fun. I think that was from everyone who saw it off-Broadway. It was fun. It belongs in a small theater. The play isn’t polished, it is just silly and fun. There are moments of brilliance and there are some seriously bad moments too.
The whole family went. The performers were all good. There were 3 people from the audience that got to play in the performance at the beginning of the play. It is held in a pseudo gymnasium holding the annual spelling bee. The anxiety about performing. The background about each of the characters families and the pressure they feel and who they are. Some characters are funnier than others.
All and all, it was enjoyable it just wasn’t fantastic. I’m basically sorry I didn’t see it when it came out on off-Broadway. It is one of those things that we get a few announcements a week of new plays for a major discount. I always think about getting them but if it is bad you are bummed. If it is good, you are bummed because now you can’t get the tickets for the price that you could have gotten them at the beginning when they were trying to generate cash. It is a catch 22 situation. I had the opportunity to buy tickets to this early on but, I screwed up. Alas.