Our first rave review is in, from Chris Gibson at BroadwayWorld.com --
“An over the top delight. New Line Theatre's current production is a perfectly cast show filled with moments of high hilarity. . . I can't remember when I've laughed so hard and so long at a show. New Line's presentation of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is priceless entertainment.”
And another terrific review from Judy Newmark at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“This Spelling Bee radiates the goofy, familiar charm of a sketch comedy show that you try not to miss. You know the players; the fun lies in seeing what they'll do this time. . . It’s just a sweet, imaginative look at pressure and how we badly we sometimes handle it. The adults laughing in the audience may have more finesse than the kids portrayed on stage – but we wouldn't laugh if we didn't know exactly how they feel.”
And this, from Paul Frisowld at the Rverfront Times:
"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee America loves a winner — unless said winner is intelligent. If you're too smart, you're a dweeb. The seven children competing in the titular spelling bee are very intelligent winners, and very much social losers. But gathered together to compete against one another, each child discovers something about his or her individual weirdness that's worth treasuring. Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn celebrate the pariah in devastatingly funny songs. Scott Miller's production is exceptionally fine, exploiting the large laughs of the precociously confident William Barfeé (Nicholas Kelly), a mucously enhanced young man who lauds his magic spelling foot in a Busby Berkeley-esque fantasia (courtesy of choreographer Robin Michelle Berger). Miller just as deftly develops the quieter moments, such as parolee-cum-rules enforcer Mitch Mahoney (John Rhine), who sings of wanting to beat the children to teach them real pain, but instead hugs and comforts them. Because that's all anyone can do: Say 'good job,' and hope the vulnerable are resilient enough to take the punches when they come."
Read all the reviews.
Long Live the Musical!