Big plans for ‘Bee,’ ‘Boyz’

Tony-winner gets tour of Chi while 'Altar' heads to Korea

This spring a handful of adolescent spelling champs will compete in Chicago, and a Christian boy-band will prove it has Seoul.

In March, a production of the Tony-winning tuner “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” sits down at Chicago’s new Drury Lane Theater Water Tower Place for an open-ended run.

The following month, on April 12, Off Broadway success “Altar Boyz” kicks off a Korean national tour at the ChungMu Art Hall in Seoul, Korea.

“Bee,” which follows a spelling contest in a junior high gymnasium, will be helmed by its Broadway director, James Lapine, and produced by Gotham lead David Stone. Stone has had good luck in Chi before: He’s also a producer of “Wicked,” currently doing boffo biz in its own Windy City sit-down.

A separate, touring production of the show aims to hit the road in fall 2006.

Meanwhile, the Korean incarnation of “Boyz,” a comedy about an evangelical pop troupe, will be produced by Michael Yong-ho Park, CJ Entertainment and ChungMu Art Hall. A Korean cast album also is in the works.

Stateside, New York and Detroit productions of “Boyz” will be joined by one in Des Moines in December and a national tour summer 2006.

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