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Published: Friday, July 15, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Belly laughs are on in Kidstage's 'Bee'

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee": Can you spell h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s?
That's the word that will come to mind while you are watching "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" put on by Village Theatre Kidstage's Summer Independent cast and crew.
This full-scale musical Tony Award-winner is about six youngsters deep into puberty who are learning that the bee is a place where they can stand out while fitting in and that losing doesn't make you a loser.
This is an interesting set of characters who fill the stage, kids with angst and outsiders, but all with enough charm and quirks to keep the laughs coming.
In this show, however, you could be doing more than laughing.
This production will give four audience members a chance to participate on stage as spellers in the bee at every performance.
Audience spellers will be chosen at random from all applicants for that evening, and not announced until the show has started. The names will be called as they are requested to join the spelling bee on stage during the performance, according to press material for the show.
This Kidstage summer production is led and directed by fourth-year Kidstage student Joel Arpin, who during his first year at Western Washington University studied stagecraft and acting, and worked as a stage manager, Kidstage production manager Janet Cole Hamilton said.
"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" opens at 7:30 tonight with shows through July 23 at Everett High School Little Theatre, 2331 Hoyt Ave., Everett. A special late night show is set for 11 p.m. July 23.
Tickets are $12 and $10. Call 425-257-8600 or go to www.villagetheatre.org. The show is rated PG-13.

"Disney's High School Musical": If you want to totally immerse yourself in youthful escapades, you can do a doubleheader by catching this musical as well, with its teen romance, high school cliques and requisite peer pressure.
The story is set against a score of hits that include "Breaking Free" and "Stick to the Status Quo."
The plot focuses on Troy Bolton, captain of the East High basketball team, and Gabriella Montez, a shy, high-achieving student. The two have met over winter vacation and meet again in Ms. Darbus' homeroom, where Troy discovers that Gabriella has just enrolled at East High.
Turns out, Gabriella and Troy both want to audition for the school's musical but the school's top actors don't support this plan.
What results is an unlikely teaming up of The Jocks and The Brainiacs who together try to keep Troy and Gabriella off the stage.
This production is put on by Driftwood's Summer Teen Ensemble.
"Disney's High School Musical" will be presented at 8 tonight and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Driftwood's Wade James Theater, 950 Main St., Edmonds.
All seats are $15 in advance and $20 at the door or buy five tickets for $50. Call 425-774-9600 or go to www.driftwoodplayers.com.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » TheaterEdmondsEverett

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