Theatre Review: 25th annual putnam county spelling bee

Clovis West shares comedic rendition of recent FC drama production
Theatre Review: 25th annual putnam county spelling bee
Meilani Gilmore Young

The “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is a comedic musical about 6 socially awkward kids, who are extremely smart but they are usually without friends. During this spelling bee, they learn to understand each other and overcome their internal issues. By the end of the show, they are friends and one of them wins the bee.

I expected a very big performance since Clovis West has over 2,500 students. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the size of the venue. It was shockingly small and cramped. The production did a good job considering the spacing of their stage was so limited.

If you do go to Clovis West for future productions, be prepared to wear light clothing because it is warm and stuffy. I prefer a venue that can house a larger audience, this venue had maybe 75 people. They had a large tech crew, who were in control of the lights and music. The lights, however, had minimal changes throughout the show.

It was about the size of my kitchen but they utilized the space by using minimal props. Considering the small space, Clovis West handled the choreography well. They impressed me with their memorization of cues which is more difficult to do without live music. I rate their set 3 stars.

The costumes were on par. They encapsulated the personality of the character and embodied them. Chip Tolentino was a Boy Scout and you could easily tell that he was a Boy Scout because of his costume. I would give their costumes 5 stars.

When it came to the music, they used a pre-recorded sound instead of a live band. This makes the show more difficult because the actors can’t depend on the musicians to catch them if there is a mistake. The singing was solid but did not reach my expectations. For these reasons, I would rate the music with 3 stars. 

One of their actors could not perform due to illness so their choreographer filled in for her which was very interesting. Also, they had actors playing multiple roles which surprised me. Since Clovis West is a large school, I would have assumed there would be more involvement in the production.

Another character, Midge, acted well but I felt like the actress did not match the character. On the other hand, Arturo Nevarez who played William Barfee was an excellent actor and a good singer who stayed in character the whole time. This character is important to me because it is the character I played in the FCS production of this musical.

They also had surprise guest spellers, who added a comical moment to the show. A little girl came up and tried to spell, then three other students followed. Each guest brought a different personality to the Bee. The acting performance was surprisingly lacking and I expected a lot more from such a big school. I felt as though the actors didn’t fully become their characters. For these reasons, I would rate the actor’s performance 2 stars. 

This is an excellent show with a fun variety of songs. The show is acceptable for ages 13 and above. It is a bit unexpected and some moments of the show are bizarre, but it is very fun to watch. I would give the storyline of the show 4 stars. 

Interested in more theatre reviews, visit the A&E page.

For more from the Feather visit, Class of 2024 signs out or Athlete spotlight: Joseph Davila and Jonas Maxey

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Noah Geil
Noah Geil, Video Journalist
Noah Geil, 25‘, is a junior at Fresno Christian Schools, Geil works with The Feather at school and this is his first year working with this team. He really enjoys acting whether it's live or taped. He joined the team to learn more about the art of media. He looks forward to learning more about videography.
Meilani Gilmore Young
Meilani Gilmore Young is a senior at Fresno Christian Schools and the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Feather Online. She is an avid reader, movie enthusiast, and music fanatic. When she’s not leading the Track and Field team she is planning her next adventure or mapping out her next meal. In the future, Gilmore Young hopes to pursue a career in history and study film. 
Hailey Higton
Hailey Higton, Photojournalist
Hailey Higton is launching her freshman year as a photojournalist for The Feather Online at Fresno Christian Schools. Known for her tenacity on the soccer field, and in life, Hailey dedicates herself wholeheartedly to cross country, high school worship team, and children’s ministry at The Well Community Church. Hailey’s creative ambition is on display through her graphic art, videography, reels, and social media posts that aim to glorify God, celebrate student success and build school spirit at FCS.  
More to Discover
Donate to The Feather

Comments (0)

All The Feather Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *