AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on Wordmaster: a track from the original Broadway cast recording of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."
RS: The show is a musical satire of spelling competitions and the pressure to "go to Washington" – where, in real life, the best young spellers compete in the National Spelling Bee.
VOICE: Ms. Peretti. Please spell "syzygy."
RONA: S-y-z-y-g-y. Syzygy?
VOICE: We have a winner!
RONA: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
CHIP: At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
My parents keep on telling me
Just being here is winning.
I know it isn't so.
RONA: But it's a very nice
Very, very nice ...
RONA, CHIP: Very, very nice
Very nice beginning.
RONA: Our winner here last year: Chip Tolentino.
SCHWARZY: Ms. Peretti!
RONA: And our youngest competitor, Logainne Schwarzandgrubeniere.
CONEYBEAR: At the 25th Annual
Putnam County Spelling game -- Bee!
I'll stand when they announce my
RONA: Leaf Coneybear.
CONEYBEAR: And try and keep from shaking.
His shaking will not pass
'Cause it's a very big,
Simple but it's not
It's a very big undertaking.
RONA: Returning after last year's tragic setback, William Barfee.
BARFEE: It's pronounced Barfee, there's an accent egue.
RONA: I'm not sure who this girl is.
MARCY: Marcy Park. Recent transfer.
SCHWARZY: Winner's destination: Washington, D.C.
CHIP/SCHWARZY: Plasma TV
In a fancy hotel.
MARCY/CHIP/SCHWARZY: Where they treat you well.
ALL: All because you love to spell.
RONA: It's a marvelous memory
If you win the spelling bee.
One's life improves from A to Z
The minute you are crowned here.
I see a trophy held by me!
And when I won
Did I swell?
Oh the stories I could tell!
But braggarts don't do well
OLIVE: Hi, I'm Olive Ostrovsky. Do you know where I check in?
BARFEE: Shut up!
CONEYBEAR: At the 25th Annual
We memorize the manual ...
ALL: About how to spell these words.
Words that require thought.
People think we're automatons.
But that is exactly what we're not.
MARCY: We hear the word.
SCHWARZY: We breathe.
CONEYBEAR: We wait.
ALL: Unlike idiots we ideate.
RONA: To ideate is to form an image or idea, to think
CONEYBEAR: At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ...
SCHWARZY: We feel no animosity.
SCHWARZY/OLIVE: And yet our heads are spinning.
BARFEE: We are
The slightest bit bizarre.
MARCY: But since the time is now ...
CONEYBEAR: Holy cow!
SCHWARZY: We shall make a solemn vow
To concentrate on winning.
ALL: We concentrate on winning.
At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
We speak so damn convincingly.
RONA: They're nervous but they're grinning.
GIRLS: It seems
We're living out our dreams.
BOYS: Which is a very nice
Very nice, very very very nice
ALL: Very nice, very nice
Very very very nice
RONA: 25th Annual
SPELLERS: 25th Annual
ALL: Putnam County Spelling Bee!
RS: "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is on stage in New York and San Francisco. A national tour is scheduled to begin later this year.
AA: And that's Wordmaster for this week -- online at voanews.com/wordmaster. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. With Rosanne Skirble, I'm Avi Arditti.