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Meet ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’ actor Bruce Warren (William Barfee)


Willaim Barfee Bruce WarrenOn stage now through April 12 at Florida Rep is the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. From set to music to storyline and acting, this production is so heartfelt, engaging and outright hilarious that it deserves your attendance even if you only use your personal copy of Merriam-Webster’s or the New Oxford American Dictionary as a door stop or to settle arguments on Scrabble night.

One of the spellers in this show is William Barfee, who is played by Bruce Warren. A boy in a man’s Spelling Bee 02body, Billy Barfee is saddled with a chronic sinus condition, an awkwardness that extends far beyond painful, and a last name the moderators mispronounce with gleeful predictability (it’s supposed to rhyme with Sante Fe, passion play and, yes, even alphanumeric display). Played by Bruce Warren, Florida Rep’s Bill Barfee comes across Spelling Bee 04as deceptively charming and his “Magic Foot” number is, without question, one of the highlights of the entire production.

Bruce is psyched to return to Florida Rep after appearing in Around the World in 80 Days in Season 17. Bruce’s Off-Broadway credits include The Road to Qatar! (Farid/ Claudio) at the York Theatre. Among the North American tours in which he’s performed are The Wizard of Oz (Uncle Henry/ Oz Guard/ Nikko, the flying monkey), 25th Anniversary Cats (Gus/ Growl Tiger/ Bustopher Jones) and First National Oklahoma! (Jud Fry u/s).

Spelling Bee 01Included in his repertoire of regional productions are Sweeney Todd (Beadle Bamford), Peter and the Starcatcher (Bumbrake/Teacher), Hound of the Baskervilles (Dr. Watson), Oliver Twist (Mr. Bumble), Little Shop of Horrors (Orin Scrivello, et al), Tom Jones by Mark Brown (Blifil/ Susan), Spamalot (Sir Robin), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (William Barfée), The Producers (Franz Liepkind), Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho) and Anything Goes (Moonface Martin).

Warren holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College.

Find out more about Bruce at

March 31, 2017.


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