CD The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee [Original Broadway Cast Recording] (CD 1068598),
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The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 84407

  • Credits
    ProducerJoel Moss; Kurt Deutsch; Joel Moss; Kurt Deutsch
    EngineerJoel Moss; Jan Folkson

    Original Soundtrack: Jose Llana, Derrick Baskin, Craig, Deborah S., Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler, Lisa Howard, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jay Reiss, Sarah Saltzberg.
    Personnel: Scott Kuney (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Ming Yeh (violin); Liuh-Wen Ting (viola); Dennis Anderson (flute, clarinet, oboe, alto saxophone); Richard Heckman (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone); Russ Rizner-French (French horn); Carmel Dean (synthesizer).
    Audio Mixer: Joel Moss .
    Liner Note Author: Bill Rosenfield.
    Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (04/05/2005); Sound on Sound Studios, New York, NY (04/05/2005).
    Photographer: Joan Marcus.
    Who would of thunk it? That some ingenious soul(s) would use the spelling bee -- that great American institution that millions of children have suffered through -- as a gristmill for a Broadway musical? The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee does exactly that, and Ghost Light has provided an original Broadway cast recording of the musical. The compositions and lyrics are from William Finn, and with a Tony under his belt, he's got the experience to make even a spelling bee dramatic. As one might imagine, the cast includes a number of overachievers gathered at a junior high gym for the contest. There are love songs to the dictionary ("My Friend, the Dictionary" rhymes Nietzsche with Christiana Richie), expressions of inferiority ("I'm Not That Smart"), and lots and lots of spelling. The music is catchy and the cast are fine singers, though numbers like "Pandemonium" are a bit overwhelming as what seems like a dozen spellers trade lines and build to a crescendo as the band plays louder and louder. A musical without the visuals can seem a bit fragmented, and that's true of The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee. Some may find all of this a bit precious and not unlike sitting through another spelling bee. Others (i.e., overachievers) will no doubt enjoy a glance back at their glory days. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

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