Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) is proud to announce casting for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Directed by Marc Bruni, with choreography by Wendy Seyb, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will run at the Millburn theatre from January 19 through February 13, 2010. Family Week is January 19 to January 23 and during this period children’s tickets are half off the regular price (certain restrictions apply). This show is recommended for patrons 13 years and older.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will play the following performance schedule: Wednesdays at 7:30PM, Thursdays at 1:30PM & 7:30PM, Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays at 1:30PM & 8:00PM and Sundays at 1:30PM & 7:00PM. Single tickets are now on sale and range in price from $25 to $92. Student rush tickets are $25 and are available the day of performance in person with current student ID.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Box Office on Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at Paper Mill Playhouse’s website:  Paper Mill Playhouse gift cards, available in any denomination, can be purchased at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office.  Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted.  Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 25% discount or more on tickets and should call 973-379-3636, extension 2438. 

Craving a fun, musical comedy to sweep you up in the action and keep you laughing all the way home? Then this story of six quirky competitors and three oddball adults in search of spelling bee glory is the show for you. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was nominated for six Tony awards and won two: Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actor. David Finkle of Theatremania described the show as “a treat and a half,” but one of the songs in the show says it best: “If you like to laugh, if you like to spell, you'll like this competition very well.”
“We are thrilled to welcome a superb cast to Paper Mill Playhouse,” said Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee. “This clever, heartwarming musical demonstrates that it can be cool to be smart. This production is sure to entertain people of all ages with hilarious antics and a magnificent score.”
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee brings a talented cast to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage. Ephie Aardema (Logainne) performed as Liesl in the national tour of The Sound of Music and as Olive in the Media Theatre production of Spelling Bee.  She has appeared Off-Broadway in the title role of Dear Edwina and regionally at Circle in the Square, Goodspeed Opera House and Orlando Repertory Theatre. Will Blum (Barfee) appeared in the Broadway and national tour productions of Grease. He has starred in several productions at Center for the Arts on Main and Roxy Regional Theatre as well as at The Boston Conservatory where he earned his BFA in Musical Theatre. Lyle Mackston (Leaf) appeared at New York Music Festival and in the musical revue Rated RSO at Joe’s Pub.  Currently pursuing a BFA at Pace University, he has starred in Fiddler on the Roof, My Favorite Year, Parade and All Shook Up.  Marla Mindelle (Rona) appeared on Broadway in the Lincoln Center Theatre production of South Pacific and in the national tour of The Drowsy Chaperone.  She has performed in New York at Playwrights Horizon, National Alliance and Manhattan Theatre Club, and regionally at New Repertory Theatre, New York Stage & Film, and Princeton Opera. Olivia Oguma (Marcy) has appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia, Les Miserables and A Christmas Carol, as well as in the national tour of Disney High School Musical.  Off-Broadway she performed at Playwrights Horizon and the Lucille Lortel Theatre.  A series regular on Sesame Street, she has had a recurring role on As The World Turns and guest stars on Law & Order and All My Children. Jerold E. Solomon (Mitch) performed in South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theatre and in the national tours of Big River, Annie and Ragtime.  He appeared in several productions at Berkshire Theatre Festival, New York Music Festival, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Ali Stroker (Olive) has starred in several productions at New Players Company and Surflight Theatre.  She has appeared at Playwrights Horizon and American Theatre of Actors as well as on the national tour of The Kids for Kids Project. David Volin (Panch) appeared in the Walnut Street Theatre production of The Odd Couple.  Regionally he has performed with New Jersey Repertory Company in The Women of Lockerbie, Klonsky & Schwartz, and The Laramie Project, Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Frost/Nixon, and Gloucester Stage in Enigma Variations. Brandon Yanez (Chip) has been featured at Allegro Productions, including leading roles in Grease, Oliver, West Side Story, and The Sound of Music, and in several cabaret performances of Don’t Tell Mama.  He has appeared in the touring company productions of Romeo and Juliet and Taming of the Shrew.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be directed by Marc Bruni. Mr. Bruni recently directed Fanny for City Center’s Encores! Series as well as Such Good Friends for which he won a NYMF Award for Excellence in Direction and the new musical Ordinary Days at the Roundabout Theatre.  He has served as Associate Director for the Broadway productions of Grease, High Fidelity, The Pajama Game, Sweet Charity, La Cage Aux Folles, Wonderful Town, and The Little Shop of Horrors.  Regionally he directed several productions at St. Louis MUNY including The Music Man which earned him a nomination for a Kevin Klein Award. Wendy Seyb joins the production as Choreographer. Ms. Seyb made her Broadway debut this fall as the choreographer of The Pee Wee Herman Show. Off Broadway credits include It Must Be Him at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre and The Toxic Avenger Musical at New World Stages.
Anna Louizos will serve as Scenic Designer. Costume Designer is Alejo Vietti. Lighting Design is by David Lander. Sound Design is by Randy Hansen and Julie Pittman. Andy Einhorn is Music Director and Greg Jarrett is Associate Music Director. The Production Stage Manager is Rebecca S. Fleming. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a co-production with Philadelphia Theatre Company.