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Shay Oglesby-Smith

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25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Is this the season for silly? Exactly six years ago for my first TPIT review, I watched David Irving metamorphose into a dog. This time his face contorts with petulance, his feet fly, and he shoes his way into our hearts.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a fun show suitable for youth and adults alike and plays at the Masquers until Dec. 18th. The show is directed by John Maio with music direction by Pat King and was written by Rachel Sheinkin with music and lyrics by William Finn. The music is ably executed by Wesley Asakawa, Barbara Kohler, Jo Lusk, Dean Starnes, Patrice Young and Pat herself.

The Apple Tree at the Masquers

Feeling at loose ends? Don’t know what to have for dinner? The Apple Tree might solve your itch—it’s three, seemingly unconnected plays in one. Continuity occurs because the same actors play throughout, time travels from long ago to the present, and the stories are about love and innocence. The publicity flyers for the show differ, stating that these plays are about getting what you want and discovering what you really wanted afterward. You’ll have to decide who's right.

Music and lyrics of The Apple Tree were written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The first play was based on the writings of Mark Twain, the second a short story by Frank R. Stockton and the third a story by Jules Feiffer. In the Masquers performances, Robert Love directs, with music direction by Pat King. Music is ably performed by Pat herself, Ted Bigornia, Jo Lusk, Jim Ware and Barbara Kohler. The show plays until May 1.

The first play is The Diary of Adam and Eve, a sweet comedy, especially for those with a Judeo-Christian background—particularly since it answers so many questions. (Photos by Jerry Telfer).

Ruthless! at the Masquers

Why on earth I was ever nominated to write theatre reviews is beyond me. I have never liked slapstick humour. Having seen the promo pictures of Ruthless!, I was ready to be irritated at the entire production, but I sat to watch the play regardless. Ruthless! written by Joal Paley with music by Marvin Laird, is directed by Tammara Plankers.

Yes, the story line is appalling; but once you’ve accepted its premise, the plot and characters thereafter steadily improve. It ceases to take patience to watch the stage. You will laugh. It becomes a very funny play. Moreover, the singing is out of this world. Breathtaking. If you like to hear people sing, and sing well, get tickets.

You're A Good Man Charlie Brown at the Masquers

Unlike Kyle Johnson (who plays Charlie Brown), I have always thought of Charlie Brown as a rather pathetic character. Yet (much to my surprise), I felt warmly towards Charlie early in the show.