Nicolet Players presents musical comedy
For the Star Journal
RHINELANDER – Rehearsals are in full swing for the Nicolet Players upcoming production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” the community theater troupe’s first musical comedy in years. It has won both the Tony Award and Drama Desk Awards for Best Book of a Musical.
Performances are scheduled for Nov. 4-6 and 10-13 in the Nicolet College Theatre.
Actors from across the Northwoods are part of the production, with some returning to the stage after several years away, and others are stepping into leading roles for the first time directly out of high school.
Cast members pictured above include first row, left to right, Ashley Gardner, St. Germain; Adrian Shrigley, Tomahawk; and Gwen Swierczynski, Rhinelander; back row, Karina Orlowski, Rhinelander; Merchelle Kolasa, Rhinelander; Jake Nitzel, Rhinelander; Claire Kafka Duda, Hazelhurst; Oliver Swierczynski, Rhinelander; and Angelo Guercio, Sugar Camp.
Most of the cast portray contestants in a middle school spelling bee. What makes this show different than most musicals is that each night, a handful of audience members are selected to compete onstage in the spelling bee.
“I absolutely adore musicals,” said Nicolet Players Artistic Producer K. Woodzick, who serves as the director, musical director and choreographer for the production. “What drew me to this show was that it changes every night, and it provides actors the opportunity to really dig into these quirky characters. And there’s lots of laughter. The rehearsal room is warm and filled with the energy of this amazing ensemble. They are so diligent and hilarious, which is a delightful combination for a director.”
Scenic, sound and lighting design for the show are all by Nicolet College Theatre and Event Services Manager Mike Effinger. The production stage manager is Clair Kaminski, a former Nicolet student and recent Northern Michigan University graduate in Technical Theatre with a concentration in Stage Management. Prop design is by Lynn Grube. Oliver Swierczynski serves as the assistant musical director and additional choreography is provided by Ashley Gardner. Costumes are by Jamie Marshall.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. The show contains some profanity and is recommended for audiences age 10 and up. Beer, wine, and concessions will be available for purchase for the evening shows and complimentary cookies and coffee will be provided during the Sunday matinees. Tickets are $10 general public, $8 for students and can be purchased online at nicoletlive.com.