The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

March 14—May 17 $35–$67
Ford's Theatre
511 10th St. NW, Washington, DC
(202) 347-4833
I am exactly the sort of nerd who knows how to spell Weltanschauung, so The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is kinda my show. The setup: Well, it’s right there in the title. It’s a spelling bee, starring a gaggle of oddball kids and a handful of audience members selected right before the show. There’s a cheery host (a former winner), an official pronouncer (who may be a sex offender), and a “comfort counselor” who hands out juice boxes and reluctant hugs to the bee participants as they get eliminated. The execution? Less efficient than the Bee deserves. In Peter Flynn’s production, too much is on the nose, overloud, thrown at the audience. [TG]

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