The history of theater goes all the way back to the 1970s, when audiences were eager to see living movies. See how far these unfilmed talkabouts have come in only 40 years with today's Groupon: for $5, you get a ticket to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, presented by The University of Mississippi's Department of Theatre Arts (up to a $10.50 value) at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 in the Fulton Chapel.
For its last show of the season, the University of Mississippi’s versatile theatre department stages a musical comedy trafficking in the unseedy underbelly of middle-school spelling bees. The Tony Award–winning show focuses on six young misfits, who, unlike the cast of The Breakfast Club, don’t solve their social quandaries using cage fights and alchemy. Instead, the group of outcasts, with their engaging quirks and Scrabble-y wordiness, learn important coming-of-age lessons, such as the true meaning of winning and whether money can buy love, happiness, or hand-carved birdbaths. Director Rory Ledbetter leads a small cast of talented college students in a comic celebration of spelling, singing, and friendship-based remedies for psychologically scars.