F-u-n With Broadway's 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'

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AA:  I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on Wordmaster: a track from the original Broadway cast recording of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

RS:  The show is a musical satire of spelling competitions and the pressure to "go to Washington" – where, in real life, the best young spellers compete in the National Spelling Bee.

  Ms. Peretti. Please spell "syzygy."

RONA:  S-y-z-y-g-y. Syzygy?

  We have a winner!

RONA:  Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

CHIP:  At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
My parents keep on telling me
Just being here is winning.
I know it isn't so.

RONA:  But it's a very nice
Very, very nice ...

RONA, CHIP:  Very, very nice
Very nice beginning.

RONA:  Our winner here last year: Chip Tolentino.

SCHWARZY:  Ms. Peretti!

RONA:  And our youngest competitor, Logainne Schwarzandgrubeniere.

CONEYBEAR:  At the 25th Annual
Putnam County Spelling game -- Bee!
I'll stand when they announce my

RONA:  Leaf Coneybear.

CONEYBEAR:  And try and keep from shaking.

His shaking will not pass

'Cause it's a very big,
Very fraught
Simple but it's not
It's a very big undertaking.

RONA:  Returning after last year's tragic setback, William Barfee.

BARFEE:  It's pronounced Barfee, there's an accent egue.

RONA:  I'm not sure who this girl is.

MARCY:  Marcy Park. Recent transfer.

SCHWARZY:  Winner's destination: Washington, D.C.

In a fancy hotel.

MARCY/CHIP/SCHWARZY:  Where they treat you well.

ALL:  All because you love to spell.
We spell.

RONA:  It's a marvelous memory
If you win the spelling bee.
One's life improves from A to Z
The minute you are crowned here.
I see a trophy held by me!
And when I won
Did I swell?
Oh the stories I could tell!
But braggarts don't do well
Around here.

OLIVE:  Hi, I'm Olive Ostrovsky. Do you know where I check in?

BARFEE:  Shut up!

CONEYBEAR:  At the 25th Annual
We memorize the manual ...

ALL:  About how to spell these words.
Words that require thought.
People think we're automatons.
But that is exactly what we're not.

MARCY:    We hear the word.

SCHWARZY:  We breathe.

CONEYBEAR:  We wait.

ALL:  Unlike idiots we ideate.

RONA:  To ideate is to form an image or idea, to think

CONEYBEAR:  At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ...

SCHWARZY:    We feel no animosity.

SCHWARZY/OLIVE:  And yet our heads are spinning.

BARFEE:  We are
The slightest bit bizarre.

MARCY:  But since the time is now ...

CONEYBEAR:  Holy cow!

SCHWARZY:    We shall make a solemn vow
To concentrate on winning.

ALL:  We concentrate on winning.
At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
We speak so damn convincingly.

RONA:  They're nervous but they're grinning.

GIRLS:  It seems
We're living out our dreams.

BOYS:  Which is a very nice
Very nice, very very very nice

ALL:  Very nice, very nice
Very very very nice
Very nice

RONA:  25th Annual

SPELLERS:    25th Annual

ALL:  Putnam County Spelling Bee!

RS:  "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is on stage in New York and San Francisco.  A national tour is scheduled to begin later this year.

AA:  And that's Wordmaster for this week -- online at voanews.com/wordmaster.  Our e-mail address is [email protected]  With Rosanne Skirble, I'm Avi Arditti.