The nine original cast members of the hit Broadway musical, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE -Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler, Lisa Howard, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jose Llana, Jay Reiss, and Sarah Saltzberg – will reunite for a special one-night-only 10 Year Anniversary benefit concert on Monday, July 6 at 7:30pm at Town Hall (123 West 43rd Street). Benefit tickets, priced $50, $100, $150, $250, and $500 are available at Ticketmaster.com.
$500 tickets include premium seating and invitation to the private post-performance reception with the original cast members and creative team.
The evening will also feature celebrity guest spellers, who will attempt to beat Putnam County’s spelling legends, including Chip Tolentino, William Barfee, and Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre. Best of luck to them.
The one-night-only event will benefit The Actors Fund’s Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and is being held in memory of Andrea “Spook” Testani Gordon, the beloved production stage manager of the original Broadway and off-Broadway production, who passed away on November 30, 2014 following a battle with cancer.
This special concert is being directed by James Lapine and Darren Katz, featuring musical direction by Vadim Feichtner and Carmel Dean, and is produced by The Actors Fund with Natalie Gershtein as line producer.
THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE was produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander,Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company and Second Stage Theatre.
THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE features book by Rachel Sheinkin, music and lyrics byWilliam Finn, and direction by James Lapine. Based on “C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E,” an original play by The Farm, the production was conceived by Rebecca Feldman and featured additional material by Jay Reiss. It premiered on Broadway on May 2, 2005 following sold-out runs at Second Stage Theatre and the Barrington Stage Company. The critically acclaimed musical was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and won two: Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler). The production ran for nearly three years closing on January 20, 2008 after playing 1,136 performances.
Andrea “Spook” Testani Gordon passed away November 30, 2014 following a battle with cancer. She was 46. Known to all by the nickname, “Spook,” Mrs. Gordon’s many Broadway credits include Side Man, I Am My Own Wife, and revivals of Uncle Vanya, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Man Who Had All the Luck, All My Sons and Design for Living. Following the Broadway production, Spook went on to open companies of Spelling Bee around the country and on National Tour.
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone-performers and those behind the scenes-who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 21,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund’s programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has been-for 133 years-a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit www.actorsfund.org.
The Actors Fund’s Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative (PNWHI) was initiated by Actors Fund trustee and cancer survivor Phyllis Newman, and was created to address the myriad of concerns women face when dealing with a serious medical condition. When women come to The Fund after a serious medical diagnosis they are often overwhelmed with concerns about their ability to work, family issues, managing basic bills as well as medical bills, and coping both physically and mentally with a challenging medical situation. The PNWHI Social Workers help women negotiate the steps that follow a serious medical diagnosis. Through intensive case management, access to individual counseling, support groups, educational seminars, linkage to community supports and short-term financial assistance, the social workers help women receive the nurturing support that they need. Visit www.actorsfund.org/PNWHI.
Jose Llana, Jill Paice,Telly Leung and more featured on TOKIO CONFIDENTIAL Recording; Set for Release May 12
Photos: David Byrne, Alex Timbers, Jaygee Macapugay, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Adam Guettel, Sarah Saltzberg and More Celebrate Jose Llana’s Lincoln Center American Songbook Debut
Photos: In Rehearsal with Jose Llana; Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut on March 12
Jose Llana Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut on March 12
Up Close and Personal with Jose Llana; HERE LIES LOVE Star Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut on March 12, 2015
Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More
Apple Video Podcast: New York Post Writer Michael Riedel Interviews David Byrne, Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora of Here Lies Love
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
Jose Llana, Ruthie Ann Miles, Melody Butiu, Conrad Ricamora and More Open in David Byrne- Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love on May 1
NYMF: Prison Dancer starring Jose Llana, Jeigh Madjus, Marc delaCruz, Catherine Ricafort, Moses Villarama, Cosmo Clemens, Enrico Rodriguez, Albert Guerzon, Andrew Eisenman and Nathan Ramos at Theatre at St. Clement’s, July 20-28, 2012
Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga Leads Stellar Cast in First All-Filipino Concert for Philippine Development Foundation, “PhilDev Celebrates Broadway: Suites by Sondheim” at Alice Tully Hall
Photos: Jose Llana, Stephanie Umoh & cast of Falling for Eve
The Making of the Flower Drum Song Cast Album
Flower Drum Song, An American Story
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
Other articles by Lia Chang
Photos: The 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Launch Party at The Korea Society; TWO FACES is this year’s theme
The King and I wins 4 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, Kelli O’Hara (Best Leading Actress in a Musical), Ruthie Ann Miles (Best Featured Actress in a Musical) and Catherine Zuber (Best Costume Design)
The King and I’s Ruthie Ann Miles Wins #TonyAwards for Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Photos: 2015 Tony Award Winners and Performances
Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang’s Commencement Speech at SUNY Purchase
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee
Photos: Garth Kravits as a Statue of Liberty Street Performer on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie
Photos: Edie Falco, Bryce Pinkham, Stephanie McKay, Lena Hall, Nick Blaemire, Jacob Ming-Trent, Matthew Saldívar at The 52nd Street Project’s Gala FANCY THAT
Photos: Inside “China: Through the Looking Glass” at The Met with Wong Kar-Wai, Vivienne Tam, Wendi Murdoch, Anna Wintour and More
Michael K. Lee, Christopheren Nomura, Greg Watanabe and More Join George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung in Broadway’s ALLEGIANCE; Full Cast Announced!
Tony Award® Nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed star in Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ at Atlantic Theater Company; Opens June 11
BETWEEN RIVERSIDE & CRAZY, HAMILTON, Austin Pendleton & More Win Off Broadway Alliance Awards
HAMILTON, James Houghton, Usman Ally, Ayad Akhtar, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Douglas Thompson and Suzan-Lori Parks among 2015 Obie Award Winners
Ruthie Ann Miles, Helen Mirren, Kristin Chenoweth, Alex Sharp, Andy Karl, Annaleigh Ashford, Richard McCabe, Robert Fairchild Among 2015 Outer Critics Circle Winners; Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Leads with 5; An American in Paris wins 4, The King and I and Hamilton Each Receive 3
Hamilton Sweeps 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards with 10 Wins; Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 3
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS AND FUN HOME Lead 2015 Tony Award Nominations with 12 each; Ken Watanabe, Ruthie Ann Miles, Kelli O’Hara, Chita Rivera, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Chenoweth, Bill Nighy, Helen Mirren, Elisabeth Moss, Carey Mulligan, Ruth Wilson, K. Todd Freeman, Patricia Clarkson Among the Nominees
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
ABC Renews “Fresh Off the Boat” and Picks up Ken Jeong’s “Dr. Ken”
George Takei Receives Distinguished Medal of Honor at Japanese American National Museum’s 2015 Gala Dinner; JANM Acquires Japanese American Incarceration Artifacts once slated for public auction
An Intimate Evening with Author Amy Tan at the New-York Historical Society
World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13
Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at email@example.com