F-u-n With Broadway's 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'

AA:   I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on Wordmaster: a track from the original Broadway cast recording of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

RS:   The show is a musical satire of spelling competitions and the pressure to "go to Washington" 鈥?where, in real life, the best young spellers compete in the National Spelling Bee. 

'Putnam County Spelling Bee'
VOICE:   Ms. Peretti. Please spell "syzygy."

RONA:   S-y-z-y-g-y. Syzygy?

VOICE:   We have a winner!

RONA:   Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

CHIP:   At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
My parents keep on telling me
Just being here is winning.
I know it isn't so.

RONA:   But it's a very nice
Very, very nice ...

RONA, CHIP:   Very, very nice
Very nice beginning.

RONA:   Our winner here last year: Chip Tolentino.

SCHWARZY:   Ms. Peretti!

RONA:   And our youngest competitor, Logainne Schwarzandgrubeniere.

CONEYBEAR:   At the 25th Annual
Putnam County Spelling game -- Bee!
I'll stand when they announce my

RONA:   Leaf Coneybear.

CONEYBEAR:   And try and keep from shaking.

His shaking will not pass

'Cause it's a very big,
Very fraught
Simple but it's not
It's a very big undertaking.

RONA:   Returning after last year's tragic setback, William Barfee.

BARFEE:   It's pronounced Barfee, there's an accent egue.

RONA:   I'm not sure who this girl is.

MARCY:   Marcy Park. Recent transfer.

SCHWARZY:   Winner's destination: Washington, D.C.

In a fancy hotel.

MARCY/CHIP/SCHWARZY:   Where they treat you well.

ALL:   All because you love to spell.
We spell.

RONA:   It's a marvelous memory
If you win the spelling bee.
One's life improves from A to Z
The minute you are crowned here.
I see a trophy held by me!
And when I won
Did I swell?
Oh the stories I could tell!
But braggarts don't do well
Around here.

OLIVE:   Hi, I'm Olive Ostrovsky. Do you know where I check in?

BARFEE:   Shut up!

CONEYBEAR:   At the 25th Annual
We memorize the manual ...

ALL:   About how to spell these words.
Words that require thought.
People think we're automatons.
But that is exactly what we're not.

MARCY:   We hear the word.

SCHWARZY:   We breathe.

CONEYBEAR:   We wait.

ALL:   Unlike idiots we ideate.

RONA:   To ideate is to form an image or idea, to think

CONEYBEAR:   At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ...

SCHWARZY:   We feel no animosity.

SCHWARZY/OLIVE:   And yet our heads are spinning.

BARFEE:   We are
The slightest bit bizarre.

MARCY:   But since the time is now ...

CONEYBEAR:   Holy cow!

SCHWARZY:   We shall make a solemn vow
To concentrate on winning.

ALL:   We concentrate on winning.
At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
We speak so damn convincingly.

RONA:   They're nervous but they're grinning.

GIRLS:   It seems
We're living out our dreams.

BOYS:   Which is a very nice
Very nice, very very very nice

ALL:   Very nice, very nice
Very very very nice
Very nice

RONA:   25th Annual

SPELLERS:   25th Annual

ALL:   Putnam County Spelling Bee!

RS:   "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is on stage in New York and San Francisco.  A national tour is scheduled to begin later this year.

AA:   And that's Wordmaster for this week -- online at voanews.com/wordmaster.  Our e-mail address is word@voanews.com.  With Rosanne Skirble, I'm Avi Arditti.