Yosemite High School presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” at 7 p.m. April 4 - 7 in the YHS theater. Winner of the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, “The Bee,” has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor.
Featuring a fast paced hilarious and touching script, adapted from Rachel Sheinkin’s book, and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Fin - it is one unforgettable experience.
“The Bee,” follows an eclectic group of six middle school students who vie for the spelling championship while candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives. The tweens spell their way through a series of words, hoping to never hear a soul crushing “ding” that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers compete, but only one can win - losers get a huge juicebox.
Boasting a large cast of 29 actors, nine of which are leading roles played by eight seniors and one junior, this musical seems to be a sure audience pleaser.
Notoriously quirky and fun, the musical also creates unscripted comedy by drawing cast members from the crowd.
“I love this show because it has comedy pathos,” said Theater Arts teacher Lars Thorson. “It has audience participation and forces the actors onstage to improvise.”
YHS senior Emilie Neff, the musical’s choreographer, says the musical has a lot more than comedy to offer.
“I think the musical can resonate with many people,” Neff said. “There are some very sweet and serious undertones - we all have some sort of oddity and while the show is a comedy the characters overcome important personal challenges.”
The musical direction is being done by Golden Chain’s James Meirkey.
Due to the district’s financial challenges, outsiders suggested Thorson scale back the department by no longer offering a spring musical.
In regards to this Thorson said, “I believe the students experience is more important than money and by working with generous parents and a supportive school district, we can keep producing theater, including musicals for years to come.”
Neff illustrated first hand the dedication and enthusiasm of the student cast, “It is a really fun and energetic show - we are all so excited and have worked really hard to make it the best we can.”
There will be a free special performance on April 6 at 9:30 a.m. for students in grades 6-12 at the YHS Theater. Thorson extends this invite to provide cultural enrichment and entertainment for students in all schools and students in the mountain area.
Details: YHS theater, 7 p.m., April 4-7 - For tickets, special performance and more information call (559) 683-4667 ext. 256.