Tuesday, May 2, 2023

SpongeBob SquarePants takes to the stage as a musical

"The SpongeBob Musical" cast  takes its curtain call. (Scott Lasky photo)

“SpongeBob SquarePants,” the popular TV cartoon series created by Stephen Hillenburg, has taken to the stage as “The SpongeBob Musical” presented by Palo Alto Players.

This version, with its book by Kyle Jarrow and songs by several rock artists, finds Bikini Bottom and its underwater inhabitants threatened with annihilation by a volcanic eruption coming in about 48 hours.

SpongeBob SquarePants (Joe Galang) and his friends Sandy Cheeks (Solona Husband) and Patrick Star (Rocky James Concepcion) take it upon themselves to ascend the volcano and try to plug it up, thus preventing the eruption.

Attempting to thwart them are Sheldon Plankton (Nico Jaochico) and his wife, Karen the Computer (Kristy Aquino).

In the meantime, The Mayor (Alea Selburn) thinks she can solve the problem by forming committees to study it – otherwise known as bureaucracy.

Others in SpongeBob’s sphere are Squidward Q. Tentacles (Andrew Cope); Eugene Krabs (Zachary Vaughn-Munck) and his daughter, Pearl (Gillian Ortega); Larry the Lobster (Nicholas Hintzman); and others.

PAP artistic director Patrick Klein has directed this production and created its colorful, versatile set. Richard Hall is musical director with vocal direction by D. Asa Stern.

The imaginative, ingenious costumes are by Raissa Marchetti-Kozlov with lighting by Edward Hunter and sound by Jeff Grafton.

The energetic, athletic choreography is by Stacey Reed.

The 23-member cast is outstanding, offering fine singing, dancing and acting. Galang as the ever-optimistic SpongeBob is especially noteworthy.

This show likely has its greatest appeal for people who are familiar with the TV series. The April 30 matinee was well received by many in the audience, with many of them cheering after every scene and singing along with the cast at its curtain call. However, those who know little or nothing about the series might not be so enthusiastic.

Running about two and a half hours with an intermission, “The SpongeBob Musical” will continue through May 14 at the Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

For tickets and information, call (650) 329-0891 or visit www.paplayers.org.