Spell your way to the top

Spell your way to the top

Rudy Vincent C. Juanito

Spellers saying goodbye to other participants that leave the stage.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is about six adolescents that participate in a spelling bee competition. Throughout the competition, which was overseen by two adults, the young participants all come across complications and as they compete, they learn that winning is not everything and losing doesn’t necessarily make them a loser.

This semester Chaminade University decided to produce “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” as the spring musical. Last week, the performances opened at the Mamiya Theatre, on St. Louis School and Chaminade campus, on Thursday, April 12 to Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 15 at 4:00 p.m.

On Saturday, April 14, an estimated 250 people gathered at the Mamiya Theatre to support the cast and stage crew. Some people went to watch the musical because it was said to be a must-see musical that everyone should go watch.

“Everyone in thecast, regardless if they had a big and small part in the musical, all contributed to an awesome performance,” Diana Miranda, a senior at Chaminade, said. “Eachcast member did a tremendousjob with their acting and vocal abilities. They made their character alive.”

Before each performance of the musical, four people from the audience were called to go onstage to be guest spellers. Each guest speller was given a different introduction when they were first asked to come to the front of the stage to spell. One guest speller was introduced as having a birthmark shaped like the Philippines, which kept the audience continuously laughing.

Throughout the musical, each character sang about situations that they were going through during the spelling bee competition. Olive Ostrovsky, played by Brittany Torres, was a quiet and shy girl that had no friends except for her dictionary. She came to the competition alone and was disappointed because her parents were unable to watch her compete. Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere, played by Amy Johnson, tried her hardest to win the competition to maintain the love from her two homosexual fathers. She thought that if she didn’t win, her parents would no longer love her anymore. Marcy Park, played by C.J. Matsushige, was an Asian overachiever. She reinforced the fact how she excelled in many areas like knowing six languages and that she was the best student. Leaf Coneybear, played by Adam Brewer, sang about his parents who didn’t think that he was smart enough to win the spelling bee competition. Chip Tolentino, played by Kaipo Leopoldino, sang to his love crush, Marigold Coneybear, and sang “my unfortunate erection.” William Barfée, played by Justin Samonte, had a magical foot that could help him spell any word and sang about his foot that helped him win the competition.

“What I was hoping for was that each performance would just build and continue to get better,” Torres said. “Our audience got bigger each night and we had four amazing performances. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

A lot of adlib was done throughout the musical performances, yet it was these improvising moments that influenced the audience to laugh. One of those moments was when, Chip Tolentino chose a different audience to be his love crush in each musical performance.

“One scene that got the audience rolling off their seats was when Chip spontaneously chose Tawnee in the audience, to be his love crush, Marigold,” Miranda said. “It was such a coincidence that both of them were wearing glasses.”

The musical was approximately 90 minutes long, yet the audiences were laughing at every moment and enjoyed their time.

“I personally just bit my lip and forced myself not to laugh or break character,” Torres said. “It is truly hard with a comedy but I succeeded.”