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Every year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee captures the attention of ESPN viewers who prefer noncontact sports. For those individuals particularly fascinated by orthography, Ford’s Theatre presents another entertainment option: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The quirky musical follows six pubescent spellers as they make their way through the competition and reveal quirky techniques, personal stories, and embarrassing tales along the way. There’s plenty of potty humor and earwormy lyrics to coax a smile out of audience members who don’t find spelling funny, and with names like Leaf Coneybear and William Barfee, the characters will burrow their way into your mind long after the curtain closes. The play runs March 14 to May 17 at Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. $25–$62. (202) 347-4833. fordstheatre.org.—Caroline Jones