PEORIA -- Would you believe a Broadway musical without pretty women in skimpy costumes? Or handsome leading men who dance and sing? It's here.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee hit the Peoria Civic Center's Broadway Series stage on March 31 and plays again on April 1. It's amusing and worth seeing,
Spelling Bee is basically a comedy with a stage filled with quirky characters. Like a piece of chocolate candy, it's delightful if not very substantial.
The group that played in Peoria is not an Actors Equity company but they did a fine job in their roles, and they are skilled singers.
Spelling Bee is kind of a down home Chorus Line, where the audience learns about the spellers as the play moves along.
It's got audience participation, contemporary jokes and lines, and songs with clever lyrics. It's strictly in the moment, but that's OK. So are sporting events and most other forms of entertainment.
The two-hour play without an intermission is suitable for mature children, and likely will end up being performed in high schools throughout the land once it's released for that purpose.
-- Elaine Hopkins