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.

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