Pictured: Cast of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Photo by D. Fenner
By Bindu Nair
June 16, 2021: On Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6, the Bronxville School auditorium terrace and steps served as the stage for the School's 2021 musical, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Mother Nature provided a steamy but rain-free weekend. The musical was produced by Pamela Simpson, the Choral Director of the High School and Middle School.
The show followed six middle-school contestants as they competed for the Spelling Bee trophy. Along the way, Spelling Bee moderator Rona Lisa Perretti (played by senior Megan Barker) provided commentary about each contestant and relived her own glory days as spelling champion.
The second moderator, Vice Principal Douglas Panch (played by junior Ashton Minich), seemed determined to be unhelpful. But Meg Mahoney (played by senior Maya Engenheiro) was there to console the eliminated contestants while completing her community service obligation.
Each contestant was intriguing. Leaf Coneybear (played by junior Eliza Brennan) was not confident of her spelling abilities. Logainne SchwartzandBrubenierre (played junior Maggie Lockwood) had many causes near to her heart and a father who would do anything to win. Marcy Park (played by senior Kaitlin McBride) was a high achiever on the brink of unraveling. And poor Chip Tolentino (played by freshman Jeffrey Rohr) experienced the pitfalls of puberty at exactly the wrong moment.
One by one, each contestant was eliminated, leaving William Barfee (played by senior Teddy Wardell) and Olive Ostrovsky (played by senior Olivia Conniff) in the final round. William came across as standoffish, and Olivia's spelling talents developed from an early attachment to the dictionary to replace neglectful parents. Neither wanted to come in second, but their participation in the spelling bee ignited a friendship that proved to be the ultimate prize.
Musical numbers with singing and choreography advanced each character's storyline. Volunteers from the audience competed in the spelling contest, prompting ad-libbed exchanges between the volunteers and the moderators. The set made use of the unusual venue, placing the numerous Coneybear siblings in the building's classroom windows.
In the end, it was a special show for a special year.
See Photo Gallery of the show below! Photos by David Fenner. Click on first photo to scroll through gallery or simply scroll on your phone.
The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.
The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.
The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children. All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.
The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)
Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.
Executive Director: Kathleen Suss
Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art
171 White Plains Rd
99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
117 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708