Hurry To See “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

By Jean Strauber, Entertainment Editor

You only have until Saturday, March 1st to see one of the funniest shows that, I think, has been seen in the Los Angeles area for a very, very long time. Yes, I’m still talking about “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” which is appearing at the historic El Portal Theatre in the Theatre District of North Hollywood.

So many of us have, when we were students, participated in spelling bees. Looking back we can remember and, perhaps, laugh at ourselves and other classmates while we were tweens or teens. You know what you’re in for when you read the program and find names such as “Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre,” “William Barfe,” “Chip Tolentino” and “Leaf Coneybear.” You’ll find you can relate to the play’s characters when numbers such as “My Friend the Dictionary” is sung by “Olive” (Kimberly Hessler), and laugh along with “Leaf, Spellers and Panch” sing “I’m Not That Smart” or “Woe is Me” sung by “Logainne” and “Mitch.”

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The director, Kristin Towes- Rowles, is very familiar with “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” having played Olive in a recent production. She brought to life, as she says, “a fabulous, funny, touching, coming-of-age story about a wild and heartfelt group of kids, with a tremendous score by William Finn.”

My friend, Donna Sweet, who accompanied me to the El Portal. stated that the audience was given “neurotic insights to the contestants, and we learned their inner thoughts in a way, that left us laughing. The smaller Marilyn Monroe Theatre in the El Portal was a perfect venue for this show. With its seating, the audience became part of the show, clapping for the spelling bee contestants and being sympathetic when a speller had to say goodbye.”

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” truly earned the 2005 Tony Awards it received — Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actor. Director Kristin Towers – Rowles, an actor’s director, truly earned the praise she has received for making the cast members into very believable young middle-school or high schoolers. In addition, four cast members are chosen nightly from audience volunteers.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will play in the Monroe Forum at the El Portal Theatre until Saturday, March 1. All seats are $30. For tickets please call (818) 508-4200 or (866) 811- 4111, or go online to www. elportaltheatre.com. The historic El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood CA 91601 (corner Weddington). Free parking is located in the Lankershim School Parking Lot on Weddington Street.

Four Reasons To See The Opera “Billy Budd”

Here are four reasons for you to experience the opera, “Billy Budd,” (scene pictured above) which opens at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Sunday, March 2:

1) Benjamin Britten’s music, which has been described as “a fine wine that one surprisingly comes to and unexpectedly finds the joys of complexity made simple.”

2) “Billy Budd” is the largest of Britten’s operas with an all-male cast of 93, full orchestra, and a massive, multi-level set that appears to be suspended over the orchestra pit.

3) The music of “Billy Budd” will set off the edgeof- your-seat drama that will sweep you into this Herman Melville powerful tale of an innocent young man who unwittingly triggers a series of fateful events.

4) With James Conlon conducting, the talented cast features Liam Bonner making his role debut as Bill; Greer Grimsley, making his LA Opera debut, as Claggart, the master-at-arms maddened by Billy’s goodness; and Richard Croft gripping as Captain Vere.

Performances of “Billy Budd” will be on Sunday, March 2 at 2:00 pm; We d n e s d a y, March 5 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, March 8 at 7:30 pm; Thursday, March 13 at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 pm. “Billy Budd” will be performed at the Dorothy C h a n d l e r Pavilion in the Los Angeles County Music Center. For ticket information please call (213) 972-8001 or go to www.LAOpera.com/ tickets, or visit the Box Office at 135 No. Grand Ave., Los Angeles.

Jean Strauber

Entertainment Writer

More Posts

Short URL: http://www.vannuysnewspress.com/?p=31700

Posted by on Feb 27 2014. Filed under Featured/Main article, Tips of the Week Ent. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Leave a Reply

This Blog will give regular Commentators DoFollow Status. Implemented from IT Blögg

Recently Commented

  • F. George Dunham, III: Just want to add that there is a lot in walking distance so even though we drank wine nonstop...
  • F. George Dunham, III: My husband and I stayed there and it was so beautiful. I drank way too much wine but...
  • F. George Dunham, III: This is great news. My husband Gary Stone will be happy because he doesn’t like how much...
  • Berenice Robles: Hello! I’m the mother of Luciana Soria-Robles. We’re just seeing this and wanted to know...
  • rtms culver city ca: why don’t more people post like this… …