... Spelling Bee

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by William Finn & Rachel Sheinkin

James Lapine, Director


Circle in the Square Theatre


2006-2008 National Tour

Second Stage Theatre, NYC

Drury Lane Theatre, Chicago

Wilbur Theatre, Boston

Post Street Theatre, San Francisco

Alliance Theater, Atlanta

Barrington Stage, Massachusetts


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

My Favorite Moment of the Bee

Spelling Rules


The I Love You Song

Magic Foot


Second Stage Theatre, Off Broadway

Post Street Theatre, San Francisco

Drury Lane at the Water Tower, Chicago

National Tour

Barrington Stage, Pittsfield, Mass 2004 (Michael Unger, director)

Barrington Stage, Pittsfield, Mass 2008 (Jeremy Dobrish, director)

Lobby Decor

Lobby Decor

Lobby Decor - Spelling Booth

Circle in the Square Set Rendering

"In fact, the musical has managed to make lemonade from one of Broadway's most lemony spaces. The dreary basement lobby of the Circle in the Square always has resembled the cinderblock nightmare of a prefab junior high slapped together in the 1960's. Plastering it with peppy posters promoting the French club, and plaques commemorating the mock achievements of the show's creative team, the set designer Beowulf Boritt invests an antiseptic space with cheesy warmth. (Little James Lapine, now a big-shot Broadway director, got the Dewey Decimal Award from the Putnam Librarians Association.) The theater itself, with its rows of steeply raked seats arrayed like bleachers on three sides, has been cleverly transformed into a mock gymnasium, with a basketball court stenciled on a scuffed wooden floor."

~Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

"One of the smallest Broadway theaters and arguably the most problematic space to fill, the Circle tends to work best as a venue when its elongated thrust stage is radically transformed. That aspect has informed the smart decisions made by director James Lapine and set designer Beowulf Boritt in transferring "Spelling Bee." Giving the quirky musical the semblance almost of an environmental production, Boritt has treated one of Broadway's least ornate, most institutional houses as a blank canvas, cleverly transforming it into an average American middle school. From the kids' poster art, kiosk menu and photographs of geeky young achievers (Finn and music director Vadim Feichtner among them) that adorn the lobby, to the Putnam Piranha team pennants, school sponsor banners and the relabeled Boys and Girls restrooms, the theater feels disconcertingly like a school auditorium. And the actual set is now even more clearly defined as a gymnasium/basketball court, drolly identified on a large banner as a Bully-Free Zone"

~ David Rooney, Daily Variety