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posted: 7/27/2011 1:00 AM

ECC to stage 'Spelling Bee'

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Submitted by Elgin Community College Art Center

Nervous youngsters and their ultracompetitive parents continue center stage during "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," a musical performed by the Elgin Community College Musical Theatre through Sunday, Aug. 7.

Performances will be held in the ECC Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, July 29, and Aug. 5; Saturdays, July 30, and Aug. 6; and 3 p.m. Sundays, July 31 and Aug. 7. This show contains adult language and content.

Nominated for five Tony Awards in 2005, this hilarious musical tale focuses on six quirky, yet charming outsiders vying for the spelling bee championship of a lifetime. In the throes of adolescence, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, the contestants begin to realize that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser.

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" features music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer William Finn, and with a book by Rachel Sheinkin. The musical is based from "C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E," an original improvisational play created by Rebecca Feldman and performed by The Farm, a New-York-based improvisational comedy troupe.

Konnie Kay of St. Charles, the production's director and choreographer, says this production will keep with the musical's tradition of inviting four audience members during each show onstage to compete in a special spelling bee. "It not only draws a different reaction from audiences, but also allows the actors to test their improv skills."

Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors. Tickets for all performances in the ECC Arts Center are available online at or at the ECC box office located in the arts center. Box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; phones only Fridays and Saturdays though Aug. 5. To purchase tickets by phone, call (847) 622-0300. All major credit cards are accepted.

For more information about the ECC Arts Center, visit Video clips of upcoming artists and events can be found at Connect with the arts center via Standing Room Only, a blog at Follow the arts center on Twitter at Become a fan of the arts center on Facebook at

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