The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee promises rollicking fun at the Langham Court Theatre through Feb. 2. Courtesy Langham Court Theatre

REVIEW: Get your blood pumping with Spelling Bee

High-octane Langham Court play sure to break the winter doldrums, writes Sheila Martindale

By Sheila Martindale

Monday Magazine reviewer

While I have never been particularly enthused about a bunch of adults dressed as children and behaving like idiots, I must admit that The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is done very well by Langham Court Theatre.

Particularly outstanding is Kyle Kushnir, in a ridiculous outfit, and his insistence on his name being correctly pronounced. A huge amount of energy is contributed by this talented clown. The whole show, of course, is very high energy, with all the characters putting out an enormous amount of oomph.

The gold star for being the most interesting character in the most bizarre, but strangely attractive costume goes to Jen Wilde. You have to see the show to find out why!

On opening night, four guest characters of local significance were called up from the audience (after having been planted there, of course) to add to the fun. I imagine, (but don’t know) that these might be different each night, but Jack Knox and Keith Digby certainly added more humour to the production.

Singing, of course, is a hugely important component of this play and that is brilliantly executed by the rather large cast. How people can sing at the same time as twirling about the stage is something that I have always admired. Having said that, the volume of the music and the voices is slightly deafening at times – a tad too loud for the size of the auditorium and my liking.

Kind of unsettling is the fact many of the characters play more than one part, which leaves the audience in a bit of a muddle as to who is who, and I for one, found this a trifle distracting. But no matter, this production is a perfect way to chase away the winter blues if you need jerking out of the doldrums!

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee runs at the Langham Court Theatre now through Feb. 2. Call 250-384-2142 to reserve tickets, send an email to boxoffice@langhamtheatre.ca or stop by the box office. For other information, visit langhamtheatre.ca.

Live theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trio of rock shows rescheduled for Alix Goolden Hall

Bowie tribute show, Martin Barre’s Jethro Tull show and Tommy Emmanuel all booked for late fall

Province announces $3M in funding for arts groups hit by COVID-19 crisis

BC Arts Council to administer support for both organizations and individual artists

Opera from a social distance: Taking it to the web

Pacific Opera Victoria launching two weekly podcasts to educate and stay in touch with listeners

Victoria Quarantunes playlist encourages support for struggling artists

Victoria brewpub creates local playlist after restaurant closes in response to COVID-19

Retired Victoria record store owner pens a poem for these ‘strange times’

Joey Scarfone offers his creative commentary on the scenario wrought by a pandemic

Netflix reducing video quality in Canada to lower Internet bandwidth use

Bell Media is also planning traffic measures affecting the Crave streaming service

Will the show go on? B.C. music festivals consider options for 2020

Summer events running out of time to stay on schedule, in wake of COVID-19 uncertainties

Relief fund for Canadian performing artists gets $100,000 boost from foundation

Facebook started the fund with a first $100,000 donation last week

Henley, Tucker, Cyrus and others mourn the death of Rogers

Country music icon remembered as a crossover pioneer, a supporter of young artists

Self-isolating? National Film Board of Canada has over 4,000 free films online

A wide range of documentaries, animated films and short films are on the NFB website

Music industry feeling the effects of COVID-19 pandemic

Island musicians, promoters and producers alike reeling from cancellations, venue bans

Joseph Blake: 10 amazing CDs to explore in our COVID-19 isolation

Longtime music writer shares his favourite records from his vast collection

Most Read