Log House Theatre to present 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'

·3 min read

Jul. 28—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — You'll spell your way to a wildly funny good time during this performance.

The Log House Theatre will present the musical comedy "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the M. Josephine Paul Family Museum at the Community Arts Center of Cambria County, 1217 Menoher Blvd., Westmont.

The performance features a cast of recent graduates and students from Northern Cambria High School, who presented the show as their spring musical.

"We are probably one of the only schools to bring their production to a community theater, which is really awesome," said Tim Jacobs, director and choreographer of the musical and Northern Cambria High School's drama teacher.

Winner of two Tony Awards and the Drama Desk Award for Best Book, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor.

The story follows an eclectic group of six mid-pubescents who vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime.

While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake.

Six spellers enter; one speller leaves. At least the losers get a juice box.

For the school performance, students presented the high school version, but the show at the arts center will be the original PG-13 version.

"When this opportunity opened up to them, they were ecstatic and so willing to continue the show," Jacobs said.

"The kids always wanted to do the adult version, but for school it had to be toned down, so now it's kind of a different show with different songs."

The cast includes Emilia "Emmy" Waugh as Rona Lisa Peretti; Isabelle Smith as Olive Ostrovsky; Meadow Spanella as Marcy Park; Drake Milko as Leif Coneybear; Katie Brady as Mitch Mahoney; Dylan Nelson as William Morris Barfee; Mason Davis as Chip Tolentino; Grace Krumenacker as Logainne Schwartzandgrubennier; and Alex Snyder as Vice Principal Paunch; Brennen Arotin, instrumentalist; Justin Ruffing, drummer; and Logan Keith, sound technician.

"The cast is terrific," Jacobs said. "We've been rehearsing for the last month, and they're coming in with new ideas and so much energy. They are so talented and enthusiastic and having fun."

Angela R. Godin, executive director the arts center, said it's exciting to have the school bring its production to the arts center.

"We're promoting our community, county and local young budding artists. And at the same time, it's a great opportunity for people to see another musical production this year," she said.

"It's a kid-themed show with adult humor. It's interactive, so at each production, they'll bring contestants from the audience to be in the spelling bee with the cast. Every night, the show is different."

She said audiences can expect to have a lot of laughs.

"Hopefully, they can step away from their day-to-day and really enjoy themselves," Godin said. "They'll leave smiling or humming tunes."

Proceeds will benefit programming at the arts center.

Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 814-255-6515 or online at www.caccc.org.