Audience Response to Footlite Musicals’ Putnam County Spelling Bee Opening Night

Many times, my wife will ask me if I want to see a show with her and often my reaction is lukewarm. My typical response rolls along the lines of, “I’ve seen parts of 5 different shows this week in rehearsal. And this show specifically twice. So maybe not tonight.”

Footlite’s Putnam County breaks this trend entirely. If for no other reason than the inclusion of spellers from the audience, the show really is subtly different every night as the actors make judgement calls about how to interact based on who happens onto stage. It’s a unique theatrical twist.

The opening night crowd’s reaction last night was one of universal delight. They were charmed by portrayals of all the spellers and universally the music was marvelously voiced and characters delightfully rendered.

Of particular note was Kelsey McDaniel’s “The I Love You Song.” The audience was rapt throughout and then positively erupted at the conclusion. McDaniel’s soulful delivery brought tears to everyone including my wife who jabbed me in the ribs and said, “You didn’t TELL me there would be crying!”

In a pandemic-fraught world filled with stress and strife, Putnam County is a charming and delightful break and well worth a trip to the theatre. Tickets still available at

Published by Rob Slaven

I'm always up to something.

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