Get ready to embrace the power of positivity and explore the underwater world of America’s favorite sea sponge, SpongeBob SquarePants, as the Valley High School Drama Club presents “The SpongeBob Musical” this week.
More than 50 Valley students will hit the stage Thursday through Sunday at the high school auditorium to bring the iconic cartoon to life in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom.
Veteran thespian and senior Spencer Pastrick has performed in musicals since second grade.
Pastrick said he hopes to bring justice to the well-known character of SpongeBob SquarePants.
“Playing a character as influential as SpongeBob is unlike anything I’ve done before. It brings with it a whole new skill level of becoming an adored character,” Pastrick said. “Since SpongeBob is so positive all of the time, it’s been an incredibly fun experience.”
Pastrick described his last year onstage at Valley as surreal.
“I have poured my blood, sweat and tears into so many productions here that it feels like a second home. When I was little, I was looking at the seniors like they were celebrities, and now I have become what I used to look up to,” he said. “It’s a strange feeling to come full circle in high school. (It) gets me excited for what’s next.”
Senior Elisabeth Ervin also is looking forward to the chance to have some fun onstage in her dual roles as a dancer and member of the rock band Electric Skates.
“I can act silly, loud and outrageous,” Ervin said. “Being an Electric Skate lets me feel like a rock star, and it’s awesome.”
Ervin also described the stage as a second home of sorts.
“It’s a place for me to express myself. I don’t have to hold anything back. I can just have fun performing and entertaining others,” she said.
Producer Brian Krugle chose “SpongeBob” as this year’s musical for several reasons, including its universal appeal and large fan base.
“‘SpongeBob’ (the franchise) has a large fan base among both children and adults, which makes it an appealing show to a wide audience. It’s a name that many people, young and not so young, recognize,” Krugle said.
“The themes of the show are friendship, resilience and creativity. We liked the creative opportunities which this show allowed us, from design elements on the set and costumes to the wide range of musical styles presented.”
The set is splashy, colorful and bright with a fun and fresh take on Bikini Bottom.
Krugle’s production team includes musical director Chris Pastrick, vocal director Barbara Pastrick and choreographer Elisa Hill.
The cast also includes Aiden Henry as Patrick Starr, Alexandra Thomey as Sandy Cheeks, Devin Bryant as Squidward Q. Tentacles, Cade Robertson as Eugene H. Krabs, Brooke Hanisak as Pearl Krabs, Trevon Matthews as Sheldon J. Plankton, Mya Warren as Karen the Computer, Evalina Tomanio as Patchy the Pirate, Matthew Stonis as Perch Perkins, Paige Grau as Mayor of Bikini Bottom, Liam Kiley as Larry the Lobster, Alex Fry as Old Man Jenkins/security guard, Aaliyah Grant as Mrs. Puff, Jillian Lewandowski as Buster Bluetang and Aries Burns as Johnny the Bartender/security guard.
Along with Ervin, Emma Wiles and Makenzie Mitcheltree portray members of the Electric Skates.
Kamden Anthony, Aria Bolcato, Madison Bryant, Gabrielle Feth, Sophie Harclerode, Makenzie Mitcheltree, McKenzie Ring, Karrigan Thomey, Evalina Tomanio and Emma Wiles are members of the vocal corps.
The dance corps includes Haley Adams, Ervin, Isabelle Greiner, Anna Gorencic, Emily McNutt, Devin Riesterer, Haley Walmsley and Allison Warriner.
Members of the ensemble are Hailey Beeler, Kameron Brink, Connor Brink, Adan Dukes, Kamryn Graham, Melanie Hegedus, Row Kiley, Deliliah Knott, Summer Machen, Julia McNutt, Peyton Murray, Madison Poloka, Samantha Potts, Jadon Redman, Aaralyn Revilla, Acelyn Sell, Christian Sorrels, Joseph Stauffer, Josiah Wilson and Kiyah Witcher.
The audience can expect original songs from the musical production based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg, with one exception being the “SpongeBob” theme song, performed at the end of the show.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Valley High School drama student Aiden Henry rehearses a scene as the character Patrick Starr for “The SpongeBob Musical” on Thursday, April 13, at Valley High School.
Krugle noted audience members shouldn’t expect a cookie-cutter musical based on the TV show.
“It offers a new take on the characters and their world. In the musical, the actors are portraying the animated characters in a live version, so you won’t see the typical costumes based on the look of the animated characters,” Krugle said.
“While the music in the animated show was catchy and designed to appeal to a younger audience, the musical features all-original music by a variety of well-known artists, such as Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie, John Legend, Lady A and Panic! At the Disco.”
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Matthew Stonis (left) as Perch Perkins and Spencer Pastrick as SpongeBob rehearse a scene for “The SpongeBob Musical” on Thursday, April 13, at Valley High School.