The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
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★★★½ "Adolescents bursting with fear of academic failure, sexual longing and near-operatic senses of self-drama have proven particularly fruitful for Griffin Theatre in the past two years, thanks to Jonathan Berry's productions of "Spring Awakening" and "Punk Rock." But though no one would mistake William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's sparkling 2005 Broadway musical 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' for either of those dark rides, director Scott Weinstein's staging brings a great deal of nuance and heart to this popular piece. For those seeking an alternative to the glut of holiday fare about to hit the local boards, the show hits a sweet spot for adults and older kids alike. For anyone who remembers the pangs of overachieving youth, it may also gently probe old scar tissue." -Kerry Reid