Schools - May 4, 2011

School stages 'Spelling Bee'

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" will be staged by Menlo School students at 8 p.m. on these dates: May 5, 6, 7, 8, 13 and 15.

The quirky, offbeat Tony-ward-winning musical, with music and lyrics by William Finn, is about a group of awkward middle-school spelling bee finalists looking for their moment to moment to shine. Along the way, "they learn that winners don't always win, and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser," says school spokesperson Jill Kasser.

The artistic staff includes director Elizabeth Orr, music director Ben Malkevitch, choreographer Jan Chandler, assistant director Mandy Khoshnevisan, and technical director Tripp Robbins.

"We're laughing so much in rehearsals as we discover the vulnerabilities and strengths of these awkward pre-adolescents," said Ms. Orr.

So many auditioned that they decided to double-cast the play. Everyone is in every performance. The principal players are in the chorus on alternate nights, Ms. Orr said.

The chorus includes Kamyar Butt, Hannah Lambing, Megs Malpani, Tara Saha, John Welch, and Chandler Wickers.

In the cast on May 7, 8 and 13 are Maxwell Coleman, Brian Cooper, Carly Cozad, Alex Giacomini, Justin Lannin, Katie Lannin, Kevin Marren, Michael Schulze, Peri Steiny, Mycal Tucker, Abhi Veerina, Nicole Wolf and Andrew Klingelhofer.

In the cast on May 5, 6 and 15 are Ryan Bowman, Tim Coggins, Matti de los Reyes, Christina Dong, Meg Jenson , Andrew Klingelhofer, Ari Meyers, Lolo Miessi, Mary Nash, Carson Witte and Philip Wu.

Play-goes are encouraged to make it a family outing: dress warmly, pack a picnic, and bring your own lawn chairs, sleeping bags and blankets.

Email for tickets, or buy them at the school bookstore or at the door. Admission is $7 for students and $10 for adults.

Menlo School is at 50 Valparaiso Ave. in Atherton.


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