“Can you spell H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S?”


November 5 - December 3, 2016

Music & Lyrics by William Finn

Book by Rachel Sheinkin

Conceived by Rebecca Feldman


Direction and Choreography by Matthew McCoy

Musical Direction by Jon Gallo




Previews: November 3 - 4, 2016 at 8:00PM

Opening: November 5, 2016 at 8:00PM

Evening Performances: Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays at 8:00PM 

Matinee Performances: Saturdays at 2:00PM

Closing: December 3, 2016 at 8:00PM

Six awkward spelling champions learn that winning (and losing) isn't everything.

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience and will start Bay Area Musicals' second season. 

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, the tweens spell their way through a series of [potentially made-up] words hoping to never hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.  A riotous ride complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is delightful den of comedic genius.

*Rating: PG-13

Effortlessly endearing... gold stars all around
— The New York Times

"Composer-lyricist William Finn and book writer Rachel Sheinkin's winsome and winning new musical is so generously warm-hearted, only the most bitter misanthrope could resist its charms."


"Delightful confection& remarkably effective."



Antonio Rodriguez III, Chip Tolentino/Jesus Christ/Olive Dad

Cecily Schmidt, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre

David Glazer, Leaf Coneybear/Carl Dad

Nick Rodriguez, William Barfee

Catrina Manahan, Marcy Park

Alexandria Ortega, Olive Ostrovsky

Nicole Frydman, Rona Lisa Peretti/Olive Mom

Kirk Johnson, Douglas Panch

Lavale Davis, Mitch Mahoney/Dan Dad


Matthew McCoy, Director/Choreographer

Jon Gallo, Musical Director

Annie Tillis, Stage Manager

Matthew McCoy, Set Designer

Katie Iannitello, Costume Designer

Julie Indelicato, Sound Designer / Sound Board Op

Stewart Lyle, Technical Director

Richard Gutierrez, Wardrobe Master


Olivia Gomez, Keyboard 2

William Berg, Reeds

Jacqueline Dennis, Cello

Jon Gallo, Keyboard 1 / Conductor

Matt Schory, Percussion




ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ III (Chip Tolentino/Jesus Christ/Olive’s Dad) is thrilled to be making his BAM debut in one of his favorite musicals!  He was recently seen as The Engineer in Miss Saigon for Broadway By The Bay earlier this year. Favorite performances include The Engineer and Thuy in Miss Saigon, Che in Evita, Nanki-poo in Hot Mikado and Wang-ta in Flower Drum Song. He has been seen performing in Miss Saigon across the USA and Canada on the National Tour and various regional productions. When not doing theatre, he surfs, cooks, rides his mountain/road bikes, travels, scuba dives, practices as a Physical Therapist, sings in a cover band and plays the piano, guitar and ukulele for fun. This is a dream come true for Antonio since he has always wanted to play Chip in Spelling Bee ever since he saw the Broadway production and is blessed to have this opportunity while working alongside a very talented group of actors and creative team at BAM. Antonio would like to welcome and thank all of you for coming and supporting live theatre! IG: scubaboy FB:

CECILY SCHMIDT (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre) is thrilled to be making her Bay Area Musicals debut! She was most recently seen as Smee in The Berkeley Playhouse's production of Peter & the Starcatcher. Favorite credits include A Murder of Crows (Susannah), Urinetown (Little Sally), Summertime (Barbara), and Midsummer Night’s Dream (Quince). She recently received her BA from the University of California Berkeley in Theatre & Cognitive Science. She would like to thank her family and friends for their constant support.




DAVID GLAZER (Leaf Coneybear/Carl Dad) is ecstatic to play the role of Leaf Coneybear in BAM's production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He is also thrilled in returning to BAM's second season. Some of his favorite and most recent credits include Hairspray (Sketch), the west coast premiere of Yeast Nation (Jan-the-youngest), Hair (Ronny), A Chorus Line (Greg), Carrie The Musical (George), and Twisted Fairytales (Red/Prince). As well as the new short film, Happily Ever After (Crispin). David studied and graduated from AMDA NY and SFSU. Not on stage, you can find him competing in marathons, triathlons, as well as adventure traveling around the world. He sends so much gratitude to his friends and family for bringing love and balance into this "pandemonious life". Instagram: davidadventures11

NICK RODRIGUES (William Barfee) graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S in Accounting and a B.A. in Theatre Arts with minors in Mathematics and American Musical Theatre. He has been seen performing in the bay area as Steven Kodaly in Foothill Music Theatre’s production of She Loves Me, Bernardo in City Lights Theater Company's production of West Side Story, Fred Casley/MC in Cabrillo Stage's production of Chicago, and Jimmy Powers in South Bay Musical Theatre’s production of City of Angels. Some of his favorite roles include Ren in Footloose, Usnavi in In the Heights, and The Scarecrow in The Wiz. When he is not performing, Nick is working as a revenue accountant at a tech company in Silicon Valley. He is excited to be performing in his first production at Bay Area Musicals in such a fun show with such an amazingly talented cast.

CATRINA MANAHAN (Marcy Park) is beyond thrilled to be reprising her role as Marcy Park in her BAM and San Francisco debut! Her credits include: Legally Blonde the Musical (Pilar), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Park), Chicago with Hillbarn Theatre; Anything Goes (Chastity), West Side Story (Teresita), Kiss Me Kate, Hairspray, The Music Man with Broadway by the Bay; Big Fish (Mermaid), In the Heights, Legally Blonde the Musical with Palo Alto Players. During the day, Catrina works at Facebook as a Recruiting Coordinator on the University Recruiting team. She would like the thank her family, friends, and Zach, for the endless love, support, and being the best cheerleaders she could ever ask for. Hope you enjoy the show!



ALEXA ORTEGA (Olive Ostrovsky) is ecstatic to be making her Bay Area Musical debut in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Past credits include: Nina Rosario in "In the heights", Aida in "Aida" and Dorothy in "The Wiz". Much love to her awesome mentor Lionel Guico and her supportive friends and family! 




NICOLE FRYDMAN (Rona Lisa Peretti/Olive’s Mom) has been on stage since she was 2 years old, and as a lifer, can't wait to see what the next 50 or so bring. She received her BFA in Theatre from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and some favorite performances include: Cleo in Most Happy Fella - 42nd Street Moon, Reno in Anything Goes - Willows Theatre, Velma in Chicago - PCRT, Lorraine in Nick and Nora - 42nd Street Moon, Lady of the Lake in Spamalot - CCCT, Maureen in RENT - Palo Alto Players, and literally dancing circles around Julia Roberts in the movie Mona Lisa Smile. She is delighted to be back with Bay Area Musicals for year two after playing Smitty in How to Succeed… last fall, and gives many thanks to the Bee’s cast, crew, production, and artistic team as we spell our way into everyone’s hearts.


KIRK JOHNSON (Douglas Panch) relocated to the Bay Area from South Carolina after earning a Bachelors in Musical Theatre Performance from Coastal Carolina University. After a six year hiatus from performing, Kirk recently returned to the stage as Motel in Fiddler on the Roof at Berkeley Playhouse. He's thrilled to be involved with BAM's second season after appearing How To Succeed as J.B. Biggley. Favorite roles have included Bela Zangler in Crazy for You, Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad, Harry in Company, and Old Tom in The Lost Colony outdoor drama.



LAVALE DAVIS (Mitch Mahoney/Dan Dad) is so happy to come back and be part of another show with Bay Area Musicals! He was last seen in their production of La Cage Aux Folles as Mercedes this past inaugural season. Some of his favorite past roles include:  Karla in "Above and Beyond the Valley of the Ultra Showgirls (SF Oasis), Jacob in "La Cage Aux Folles" (CCCT), Horse in "The Full Monty" (TVRT), Seaweed in "Hairspray" (Stage 1), The Bearded Lady in "Sideshow"(Altarena), and Buttons in "Cinderella The Panto" (Panto SF). When not performing in plays and musicals he is seen about town as his drag alter ego Coco Buttah. Enjoy the show!