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Wildly Popular Modern Musical Set To Open July 29 at Culbreth Theatre

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – July 20, 2010 – How do you spell hilarity?

This summer at Heritage Theatre Festival, the answer is B-E-E…as in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which will round out the 2010 Heritage season starting July 29.

Now a worldwide sensation, this 2005 Tony Award-winning musical by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin puts audience members quite literally in the middle of the action when a tiny fictional town comes together for one of the most anticipated events of the year.  From the quirky band of misfit spellers to the even quirkier adults in charge of the proceedings, the combination of adolescent angst and adult awkwardness propel an evening of magical musical theatre in which the letters fly fast and the laughs fly faster.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, directed by Heritage Theatre Festival Producing Artistic Director Robert Chapel, will run from July 29-31 and on August 4 and 7. Shows will be presented at 7:30PM each evening, and there will be a 2PM matinee performance on Saturday, August 7.  Tickets for the show are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors (60+) and U.Va. faculty and staff, and $15 for students. Tickets are now available at the U.Va. Arts Box Office in the Culbreth Theatre building, online at www.uvahtf.org or by calling 434-924-3376.

“I will never forget the first time I saw this show in New York,” Chapel said. “Because up until that point, I thought ‘side-splitting’ laughter was just a marketing term. It was as fun an evening as I had ever had in the theater, and after diving into it over these past few weeks with this extremely talented cast, I am enjoying and appreciating it even more.”

The cast will include Emily Rice, who won raves for her performance as Maria in this year’s highly-acclaimed Heritage production of The Sound of Music, also directed by Chapel.

The show offers audience members a nightly chance to join the cast and showcase their own spelling talents. “Every night we will choose a couple of audience members to be part of the show, which is great fun for everyone involved,” Chapel said.

For complete ticket and schedule information or to order your tickets today, visit www.uvahtf.org or call the box office at 434-924-3376.

Press photos are available at http://www.virginia.edu/heritagetheatre/pressCenter.htm.

Heritage Theatre Festival Publicist-

John Kelly
John Kelly PR