SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: THE MUSICAL is now playing at Florida Repertory Theatre. The production, directed by Assistant Education Director Christina DeCarlo, is one of Florida Rep Education’s Conservatory productions.
The storyline follows beloved characters from the SpongeBob cartoon as they face a terrifying event. A volcano is preparing to erupt, which would destroy Bikini Bottom. It is up to SpongeBob, Sandy, and Patrick to save the day, but can they do it in time?
Landon Maas plays SpongeBob, and he is fantastic. He embodies SpongeBob’s personality perfectly; from the voice to the mannerisms and beyond, Maas truly brings SpongeBob to life on the Florida Rep stage. Michael Shelley plays Patrick Star, SpongeBob’s best friend, and I enjoyed his performance as well. He adds humor, and shows growth as he struggles with choices in this show. Their friendship is fun to watch, and they have a bond that won’t be broken no matter what happens. Sophia Gurulé plays the final member of their trio, Sandy. She is a Texan squirrel who is incredibly smart and talented, though she faces her own struggles in feeling like an outcast from the rest of Bikini Bottom. Gurulé is a wonderful Sandy, with fantastic vocals, great personality, and the perfect accent.
Matthew Eakins plays Squidward, and he was fabulous in the role. Squidward has a tap number in the show, “I’m Not a Loser,” and it was an audience favorite. Eakins has perfected Squidward’s voice and mannerisms, and I was thoroughly impressed. Among other classic SpongeBob characters are Mr. Krabs (Scotty Wells) and Plankton (Kody C. Jones). Plankton is plotting an evil plan to hypnotize everyone, while Mr. Krabs is doing his best to make money from the upcoming volcano eruption. Wells and Jones are both excellent at playing these scheming characters. It is a lot of fun to see Florida Rep’s Education Director, Kody C. Jones, on stage.
One unique thing about SPONGEBOB is that there is an on-stage Foley Artist (who also happens to be the French Narrator), Cargan Murray. He makes the majority of the sounds you hear during the show.
Alongside direction by Christina DeCarlo, the creative team includes Roz Metcalf as the Music Director, David Triptow as the Choreographer, Rebecca Rankin as the Costume Designer, Jordan Moore as the Scenic Designer, James Davis as the Lighting Designer, Ben Lowe as the Projection Designer, Adam Trummel as the Sound Designer, and Danica Murray at the Stage Manager. There are a lot of technical and creative aspects to this production. The music and singing was excellent, I loved the fun choreography, and the set, lighting, projections, and costumes brought these character and Bikini Bottom to life. Each song in this show is written by a different popular musician, and there is a variety of dance styles throughout. There is a lot to this show, but it comes together beautifully, thanks to a wonderful cast and creative team.
This show is full of hope, fun, humor, friendship, and so much more. You will have a shell of a good time, and I absolutely recommend seeing this production if you get the chance.
SPONGEBOB is playing now through May 28! Get your tickets soon!