On Sunday night, Andrea and I went to our first musical in our 2007 Denver Center Attractions season ticket package, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Before the show, we went to Pappadeaux for dinner, and upon finishing earlier than expected, we drove down to the Buell Theater for the show since it was snowing in our now weekly blizzard. When we got to the theater, they were asking for volunteers to be a participant in the bee, so Andrea insisted on signing me up. I signed her up too. And lo and behold, I got selected as one of the four audience members onstage. As a result, we also got moved from the balcony down into the orchestra section as well.
They took me backstage for some directions before guiding me to my seat. After the opening number, they called the four of us up onstage where we sat with the cast in the faux bleachers until called upon. After missing a word, we were to go back to our seats in the audience. I was a little surprised at how unfriendly the cast seemed when we came on stage. Every other time I’ve seen audience participation, the cast seems to be friendly to get the people involved. In this case, I was greeted with cold stares from most of the cast members.
After missing a word, I went back to my seat with Andrea and watched the rest of the show. It was not one of the better shows that we have seen. It probably would have been funny in a shorter setting but seemed stretched into a full length musical. The caricatures of spelling bee contestants got progressively older as the show went on. Having been in many spelling bees as a kid, and having won once, I can see where most of the caricatures came from. The jokes were funny at first, but, after two and a half hours, they aged very quickly.
That being said, it was definitely interesting to be up on stage for a Broadway musical at the Buell. I did get to see a number of the tricks that they use, including monitors that the cast can use to watch the director. At this point, we’re both looking forward to our next show, Legends!, on February 11.