Colin Hanlon to Direct the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the George Street Playhouse - Opens March 14th

The cast for The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling. Photo Credit: Contributed. 

Newsroom Post: New Brunswick, NJ:


New Brunswick, NJ – George Street Playhouse (GSP) announces its spring musical comedy event– the Broadway/Off-Broadway hit The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  Performances of this fresh and newly conceived production begin March 14th and continue through April 9th at the Arthur Laurents Theater at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center.  Tickets are now on sale.


The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee is directed by Colin Hanlon, with book by Rachel Sheinkin with additional material by Jay Reiss and features music and lyrics by Tony Award® winner William Finn. Musical Direction is by Mat Eisenstein and choreography by Nancy Renee Braun.  

This charming musical comedy tells the tale of six middle school “misfits” in Putnam County, New York finding themselves through one of the most competitive and brave journeys adolescents can embark on – a Spelling Bee! this Tony Award-winning timeless and hilarious story about self-discovery proves that W-I-N-N-I-N-G (and losing) isn’t everything.


“We are thrilled to welcome back GSP favorite Colin Hanlon for the sixth time!” said David Saint, Artistic Director, George Street Playhouse. “He and his sensational cast will surely spell a laugh filled show for us all.”

The cast for The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling features: Ally Bonino (Rona Lisa Peretti), : OFF BROADWAY Suffs – The Public Theater, Jordan Matthew Brown (William Barfee), BROADWAY: The Book of Mormon,  Lila Coogan (Olive Ostrovsky) BROADWAY: Mary Poppins, Coleman Steele Cummings (Chip Tolentino), Angel Lin (Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere) OFF BROADWAY MemorialSammy Pignalosa(Leaf Coneybear), Aaron Michael Ray (Mitch Mahoney) Off-Broadway: The Low Road (The Public Theater) SpamiltonKilty Reidy (Douglas Panch), Sumi Yu (Marcy Park) Off-Broadway: Greater Clements at Lincoln Center Theater, Izzy Figueroa (Understudy) and Gillian Hassert (Understudy).


Design and Production team features: Lindsay Chambers (Assistant Director), Jason Simms (Scenic Designer), Lisa Zinni (Costume Designer), Joe Saint (Lighting Designer), Cody Spencer (Sound Designer), Samantha Flint (Production Stage Manager) and Casting by McCorkle Casting.

About The Cast & Creative Team

Colin Hanlon (Director) – Colin Hanlon co-directed It’s Only a Play last season at George Street Playhouse. Broadway: FalsettosRent, Wicked (First National Tour) and In Transit. Off-Broadway: NYC premier of Dot by Colman Domingo (Vineyard Theater, dir. Susan Stroman) and A.R. Gurney’s last play Final Follies (Cherry Lane, dir. David Saint) and I Love You Because (original cast). Regional: George Street Playhouse (Tick, Tick, Boom!The Last Five YearsFalsettosThe Nerd), Four Seasons at NYS&F, The O’Neill and Next Fall (regional premiere Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). TV/Film: Submissions Only (Producer and star), Modern FamilyDifficult PeopleThe SinnerThe Good Fight and currently Uncoupled on Netflix. He’s the head of Tv/Film at IAMT in New York City and is an Adjunct Professor at NYU Drama @ColinHanlon


Nancy Renee Braun (Choreographer) – Nancy Renee Braun is a NY based choreographer, working on Broadway and in TV/film. She is the resident choreographer for Moulin Rouge The Musical on Broadway and the associate choreographer for Beetlejuice.  Other favorite theatre credits include The Robber Bridegroom (Roundabout Theatre), Beauty and the BeastTangled (Disney Cruise Lines), and Elf (Broadway National Tour). Nancy also works frequently in choreography for film/TV, favorites including “The Gilded Age”,  Succession”, “Westworld”  (HBO) “Dead to Me”, “Maniac”, “The Week Of” (Netflix), “Blue Bloods”, “Limitless”, “Bull” (CBS), and “Rebel In The Rye” (IFC). Nancy attended Northwestern University, and upon graduation made her Broadway debut as an actor in Patti Lupone’s Gypsy on Broadway. 


Mat Eisenstein (Musical Director)  – Broadway (Conductor): Frozen, Spelling Bee, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Something Rotten, Newsies, Book of Mormon, Elf, Promises Promises, Next to Normal, Bye Bye Birdie, 13, Fiddler, Ave. Q, 42nd St. &  Les Miserables and has played Keyboards in over 50 Broadway pit orchestras including Aladdin, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, , Company (2021), Into the Woods (2022), Legally Blonde, Les Mis (Original and 2006), The Lion King, Mamma Mia, Mary Poppins, Matilda, MJ The Musical. Off-Broadway: I  Love You, You’re Perfect, Little Miss Sunshine. Performances: Today Show, Jimmy Fallon, The View, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Birdland, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Town Hall. Recordings: 6 Cast albums & an original solo piano album, Surroundings


Press Opening: March 17th at 8:00 pm


Tickets begin at $25 and  are now on sale.  For subscriptions and group discount information visit or call 732-246-7717. 

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