Circle in the Square Theatre, (5/02/2005 - 1/20/2008)

First Preview: Apr 15, 2005
Opening Date: May 02, 2005
Closing Date: Jan 20, 2008
Total Previews: 21
Total Performances: 1136

Category: Musical, Comedy, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Circle in the Square (under the direction of Theodore Mann and Paul Libin)

Produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company and Second Stage Theater

Music by William Finn; Lyrics by William Finn; Book by Rachel Sheinkin; Conceived by Rebecca Feldman; Additional Material by Jay Reiss; Music orchestrated by Michael Starobin; Musical Director: Vadim Feichtner; Vocal arrangements by Carmel Dean; Based on "C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E," an original play by The Farm

Directed by James Lapine; Choreographed by Dan Knechtges; Resident Director: Darren Katz

Scenic Design by Beowulf Boritt; Costume Design by Jennifer Caprio; Lighting Design by Natasha Katz; Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier; Hair and Wig Design by Marty Kopulsky; Associate Lighting Design: Philip Rosenberg; Associate Sound Design: David Bullard

General Manager: 321 Theatrical Management; Company Manager: Seth Marquette

Production Stage Manager: Andrea "Spook" Testani; Production Manager: Kai Brothers and Jason Block; Stage Manager: Kelly Hance and Dan Shaheen

Musical Coordinator: Michael Keller; Conducted by Vadim Feichtner; Piano: Vadim Feichtner; Associate Conductor: Carmel Dean; Synthesizer: Carmel Dean; Reed: Rick Heckman; Cello: Amy Ralske; Drums/Percussion: Glenn Rhian; Music Copying: Emily Grishman Music Preparation

Press Representative: The Publicity Office; Casting: Tara Rubin Casting; Marketing: The Araca Group; Dance Captain: Derrick Baskin; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Derrick BaskinMitch Mahoney
(Apr 15, 2005 - Apr 15, 2007)
Deborah S. CraigMarcy Park
(Apr 15, 2005 - Apr 15, 2007)
Jesse Tyler FergusonLeaf Coneybear
(Apr 15, 2005 - Jun 23, 2006)
Dan FoglerWilliam Barfee
(Apr 15, 2005 - Jan 29, 2006)
Lisa HowardRona Lisa Peretti
Celia Keenan-BolgerOlive Ostrovsky
(Apr 15, 2005 - Sep 17, 2006)
Jose LlanaChip Tolentino
(Apr 15, 2005 - Apr 15, 2007)
Jay ReissDouglas Panch
(Apr 15, 2005 - Oct 23, 2005)
Sarah SaltzbergLogainne Schwartzandgrubenierre
(Apr 15, 2005 - Apr 15, 2007)

Understudies: Todd Buonopane (Douglas Panch, Leaf Coneybear, Mitch Mahoney, William Barfee), Kate Wetherhead (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Marcy Park, Olive Ostrovsky), Willis White (Chip Tolentino, Douglas Panch, Mitch Mahoney) and Lisa Yuen (Marcy Park, Olive Ostrovsky, Rona Lisa Peretti)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2005 Best Musical [nominee] 

Produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company and Second Stage Theater

winner 2005 Best Book of a Musical [winner] 

Book by Rachel Sheinkin

 2005 Best Original Score [nominee] 

Music by William Finn; Lyrics by William Finn

winner 2005 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [winner] 

Dan Fogler

 2005 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Celia Keenan-Bolger

 2005 Best Direction of a Musical [nominee] 

James Lapine

Drama Desk Award

 2005 Outstanding New Musical [nominee] 

Produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company and Second Stage Theater

winner 2005 Outstanding Book of a Musical [winner] 

Book by Rachel Sheinkin

winner 2005 Outstanding Director of a Musical [winner] 

James Lapine

 2005 Outstanding Lyrics [nominee] 

Lyrics by William Finn

 2005 Outstanding Music [nominee] 

Music by William Finn

winner 2005 Outstanding Ensemble Performance [winner] 

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Lisa Howard, Dan Fogler, Jay Reiss, Sarah Saltzberg and Jose Llana

Theatre World

winner 2005 Award [recipient] 

Dan Fogler

winner 2005 Award [recipient] 

Celia Keenan-Bolger


music by William Finn; lyrics by William Finn

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling BeeAnnouncer, Rona Lisa Peretti, Chip Tolentino, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Leaf Coneybear, William Barfee, Marcy Park and Olive Ostrovsky
The Spelling Bee Rules/My Favorite Moment Of The Bee 1Douglas Panch, Spellers, Rona Lisa Peretti and Mitch Mahoney
My Friend, The DictionaryDouglas Panch, Olive Ostrovsky, Boy Spellers, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Rona Lisa Peretti and Girls
The First GoodbyeDouglas Panch and Spellers
PandemoniumDouglas Panch, Spellers and Mitch Mahoney
I'm Not That SmartLeaf Coneybear, Spellers and Douglas Panch
The Second GoodbyeDouglas Panch and Spellers
Magic FootRona Lisa Peretti, William Barfee and Company
Pandemonium Reprise/My Favorite Moment Of The BeeRona Lisa Peretti, Chip Tolentino, Douglas Panch, Mitch Mahoney and Spellers
Prayer Of The Comfort CounselorDouglas Panch, Mitch Mahoney and Spellers
My Unfortunate Erection (Chip's Lament)Chip Tolentino
Woe Is MeLogainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Carl, Dan and Company
I'm Not That Smart (Reprise) Leaf Coneybear
I Speak Six LanguagesRona Lisa Peretti, Marcy Park and Girls
The I Love You SongDouglas Panch, Olive Ostrovsky, Olive's Mom and Olive's Dad
Woe Is Me (Reprise) Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, William Barfee and Olive Ostrovsky
My Favorite Moment Of The Bee 3/SecondDouglas Panch, Rona Lisa Peretti, William Barfee, Olive Ostrovsky and Chorus
FinaleCompany and Rona Lisa Peretti
The Last GoodbyeCompany


AP: "'Spelling Bee' Funny, Charming"

Yes, they still can spell strabismus, capybara and phylactery. Those nerdy, geeky kids competing in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" have made the transfer from off-Broadway to the Big Time - Broadway - with their funny, offbeat charm intact.

Indeed the musical, which reopened Monday at Circle in the Square, is better than ever, more heartfelt and overflowing with a generosity of spirit that tempers a tale in which the result has to be bittersweet: Someone wins and someone loses.

But the show, which has a comic, well-crafted book by Rachel Sheinkin and a delightful score by William Finn, is about more than who gets the big prize. The story focuses on growing up, a painful process to which everyone can relate.

Only the contestants in this spelling bee are a bit quirkier than your average high school student. They include the overachiever who secretly wants to underachieve; the lonely girl with a missing mother and father; the bewildered, budding flower child; the overweight fellow with nasal problems; last year's confident champ; and the youngster with pushy, win-at-all-cost parents.

Despite their oddities, these students are linked by their devotion to words - and how to spell them. It's not for nothing that one of Finn's more wistful songs celebrates "My friend, the dictionary." His music has an eccentric likability, a quality found in the show's performers, too.

A standout is Dan Fogler, the young man with mucous membrane difficulties. His insecurities are hilarious – and touching - at the same time. But then all the adult actors who play these children are terrific, going beyond the caricatures these spellers could have become.

And one shouldn't neglect the three performers who portray the adults who monitor the contest, especially Jay Reiss, who, as the school's vice principal and the bee's word pronouncer, gets some of the evening's best lines.

In the musical's Broadway transfer, Reiss now is credited with providing some of the show's material, too.

Much of the fun derives from the structure of a spelling bee itself with its built-in suspense as, one by one, contestants (including several plucked from the audience) are eliminated.

Director James Lapine has done a savvy job of adapting the musical for the new theater, one of Broadway's more eccentric spaces. Circle's playing area resembles an elongated lozenge with the audience sitting on three sides.

For "Spelling Bee," designer Beowulf Boritt has rethought the show's high school gymnasium setting. It's now more environmental, with banners proclaiming "Bully Free Zone" and "Putnam Valley Piranhas 1996 State Middle School Basketball Champions."

And in the theater lobby, there are childhood photos of many of the performers, plus a few pictures of others who had a certain connection to the fine art of spelling. Check out the Dan Quayle display.


Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Circle in the Square Theatre

(5/2/2005 - 1/20/2008)
Company Manager: Lisa Koch Rao(Mar 2006 - ?).

Assistant Stage Mgr: Charlene Speyerer, Alex Lyu Volckhausen, Cathryn Basile(circa. Jan 22, 2007 - ?); Stage Manager: Peter Wolf.

Press Representative: Ryan Ratelle.


Aaron J. Albano
Chip Tolentino (Apr 17, 2007 - Jan 20, 2008)
Stanley Bahorek
Leaf Coneybear (Apr 17, 2007 - Jan 20, 2008)
Jenni Barber
Olive Ostrovsky (Apr 17, 2007 - Jan 20, 2008)
Barrett Foa
Leaf Coneybear (Jul 11, 2006 - Apr 15, 2007)
Josh Gad
William Barfee (Jan 31, 2006 - Jan 28, 2007)
Jared Gertner
William Barfee (Jan 30, 2007 - Jan 20, 2008)
Darrell Hammond
Douglas Panch (Jun 12, 2007 - Jul 19, 2007)
James Monroe Iglehart
Mitch Mahoney (Apr 17, 2007 - Jan 20, 2008)
Sara Inbar
Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre (Apr 17, 2007 - Jan 20, 2008)
Greta Lee
Marcy Park (Apr 17, 2007 - Jan 20, 2008)
Daniel Pearce
Douglas Panch (Jul 24, 2007 - Jan 20, 2008)
Mo Rocca
Douglas Panch (Apr 17, 2007 - Jun 10, 2007)
Jennifer Simard
Rona Lisa Peretti (Apr 17, 2007 - Jan 20, 2008)
Lucia Spina
Rona Lisa Peretti (Oct 19, 2006 - Oct 31, 2006)
Greg Stuhr
Douglas Panch (Oct 25, 2005 - Apr 15, 2007)
Jessica-Snow Wilson
Olive Ostrovsky (Sep 19, 2006 - Apr 15, 2007)

Understudies: Angelica-Lee Aspiras (Marcy Park, Rona Lisa Peretti), Cathryn Basile Broadway Debut (Marcy Park, Olive Ostrovsky, Rona Lisa Peretti), Todd Buonopane (Chip Tolentino), Elsa Carmona (Rona Lisa Peretti), Robin Lee Gallo (Marcy Park), Brian Gonzales (Douglas Panch, Leaf Coneybear, William Barfee), Maurice Murphy (Chip Tolentino, Douglas Panch, Leaf Coneybear, Mitch Mahoney), Rory O'Malley (Douglas Panch, Leaf Coneybear, William Barfee), Jacqui Polk (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Marcy Park, Olive Ostrovsky), Sarah Stiles (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Marcy Park, Olive Ostrovsky), Lee Zarrett (Leaf Coneybear, William Barfee).

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