The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Adults buzz the Bee

Tehachapi Community Theatre Spotlight


August 4, 2018

Photo provided

Pictured from left: Duff Guarente, Audriana Lathrop and Doug Jockinsen.

The "adult in the room" is defined as the person in the group who makes level-headed decisions. The adult is the one we look to for wise, measured thinking. The adult is the emotionally, mentally mature person who may serve as a guide and mentor to the younger ones. The adult archetype holds true in many cases, however, at "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" playing at the BeeKay Theatre, the adults in charge are equally as kooky and off-the-wall as the kids.

Rona Lisa Perretti (played by Audriana Lathrop) is our hostess for the Bee. A local realtor and past Bee champion, Rona believes the contest to be a complex, cerebral sporting event. (In her view, being the 3rd annual Bee champ was a transformative experience and she loves to relive that life-changing moment as often as possible.) As the competition gets tougher, her excitement soars.

Vice Principal Doug Panch (played by Doug Jockinsen) is a last-minute replacement for the regular word pronouncer for the Bee. Panch has never quite found his place in life. He feels stuck in a dead-end job and has had behavioral "issues" in the past. He starts the Bee eager to do well, to redeem himself for past mistakes and to impress Rona Lisa.

Mitch Mahoney (played by Chris "Duff" Guarente) is only at the Bee as part of his community service assignment. An ex-con, Mitch serves parole time as the, "Comfort Counselor" to the losing spellers although he has no idea how to offer comfort to the kids. Armed with juice boxes and hugs, he does his best to console.

There will also be three other adults who join the cast on stage as spelling competitors. Those three adults will be volunteers from the audience. Yep, audience participation is part of the Bee! (We can only imagine what quirks those adults may have.)

Adults in the room? You bet! We have an over-zealous hostess, socially challenged word pronouncer, jailbird comfort counselor and three mysterious volunteers. What could possibly go wrong?

Join the adults and the kids for, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," for three weekends running through Aug. 11. Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m .; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets available at or the outlets at Treasure Trove and Tehachapi Furniture. NOTE: This play is rated PG-13 for adult language and situations.


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