SpongeBob SquarePants may live in a pineapple under the sea, but for the next few months, he’s taking it on the road. A little more than a year after its Broadway run, “The SpongeBob Musical” is on a 45-city national tour. Its fourth stop? Boston’s Wang Theatre, where the splashy celebration will take the stage from Oct. 15 to 27.
The musical adaptation of the beloved Nickelodeon series follows your favorite absorbent, yellow, and porous sea dwelling played by Lorenzo Pugliese, as well as Patrick (Beau Bradshaw), Sandy Cheeks (Daria Pilar Redus), Squidward (Cody Cooley), and the rest of Bikini Bottom’s usual suspects. In this episode, the town grapples with news that volcano “Mount Humongous” may erupt and destroy their beloved underwater city.
“SpongeBob” originally premiered in Chicago in June 2016 prior to its Broadway debut in December 2017. It quickly earned critical success, snagging 12 Tony nominations to tie with “Mean Girls” for the most nods that year, and won Best Musical at both the 2018 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
The show is conceived by Tina Landau, who has served as director for all of its iterations. The musical also features a book by Kyle Jarrow, choreography by Christopher Gatteli, orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Kitt, and music by a slew of Grammy Award-winning artists including John Legend, Lady Antebellum, T.I., and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Boston-born band Aerosmith.
While the show is an adaptation of the animated hit, it is not a replica. Instead of theme park-style getups, the actors wear clothing reminiscent of their characters — SpongeBob dons a yellow shirt and red tie, Mr. Krabs has red boxing gloves as hands, and Sandy’s costume is accessorized by her signature pink flower. And while the TV series was created for the younger set, that’s not the case for its musical counterpart.
“[Landau] said on Broadway they would say, ”SpongeBob the Broadway Musical’ — it’s so good, you can even bring your kid.’ It’s made for everyone,” cast member Morgan Blanchard told Boston.com over the phone. “It confronts a lot of ideas that we are struggling with right now in terms of community and coming together and the obsession over fear, and how we use fear to either dominate or divide and how destructive that can be, which I think is arguably more relevant to adults than it is to children.”
Blanchard plays Patchy the Pirate, the show’s sole human character and one he describes as a “whack-a-doodle superfan of SpongeBob.” You may remember the character from the animated series’s occasional live-action segments. For Blanchard, a Portsmouth, N.H. native, the Boston leg of the tour holds personal significance. Growing up, he would come into the city around six or seven times a year to see theatrical productions. And although he spent last year on the national tour of “The Sound of Music,” this month will mark his first time taking the Boston stage.
“I’ve been waiting to come to the Wang [Theatre], he said. “It’s just a childhood dream to do that.”
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