Sunday, November 14, 2021

'The SpongeBob Musical' Comes To The Axelrod PAC in New Jersey, November 27

The SpongeBob Musical Comes To The Axelrod PAC, November 27

Presented by the Axelrod Performing Arts Academy, The SpongeBob Musical is based on the beloved animated series created by Stephen Hillenburg.

New Jersey - The Axelrod Performing Arts Academy (APAA) presents its first musical, The SpongeBob Musical, at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center (APAC) for two weekends, beginning Thanksgiving weekend: November 27 through December 5, 2021.

APAC Artistic Director Andrew DePrisco, a major fan of this "quirky, fun musical," shares (with a wink), "I really do think this is the perfect musical for the whole family. The adults and kids just don't laugh at the same jokes, and under all the perverse silliness, there's real heart and a genuine message to take home."

Making her directorial debut at APAC is original cast member Abby C. Smith (pictured below), who created the role of Mrs. Puff on Broadway, assisted by choreographer Robert Taylor, Jr., also a member of the original Broadway company.

Smith is proud of her cast and commends them for their "heart and energy." "Having a part in creating the show on Broadway was so special and meaningful to me," she says, "I'm thankful to get to share this piece of my heart with this young cast and the community at the Axelrod and to help continue the legacy of this beautiful show."

Based on the popular Nickelodeon series by Stephen Hillenberg, The SpongeBob Musical was written by Kyle Jarrow with an eclectic and hip score by rock and pop icons David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Yolanda Adams, Lady Antebellum, Sarah Bareilles and others, with additional music by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal).

Populating the underwater world of Bikini Bottom are the following young actors, all of whom are being trained at APAA, which is located at Bell Works. In the role of the happy-go-lucky SpongeBob is Sealth Grover (Navesink), his envious BFF Patrick Star is played by Micah Schachet-Briskin (Marlboro), the power-hungry Plankton by Quincy Southerland (Long Branch), the nurturing Sandy Cheeks by Giada Garcia (Manalapan), the grumpy (tap-dancing) Squidward by Aman Tolia (Holmdel), the money-obsessed Eugene H. Krabs by Brennan Boyce (Howell), and his high-spirited daughter Pearl by Adah Christian (Brick). Also joining is New York-based actor James Henri Jones joins the cast in the role of Patchy the Pirate.

Serving as musical director is Michael Gilch, who will conducting a six-piece band. The design team for the show includes Fred Sorrentino (scenic), Indigo Shea (lighting), Susan Bloir (props), Gerry Gironda (sound) with costumes provided by Scaramouche Costumes of Chester, NJ. Dennis Tolentino is the stage manager. The show is being produced by Andrew DePrisco and Gabriel Chajnik, the director of APAA.

Patrons in the theater are required to wear masks. Patrons who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 or children under the age of twelve are required to present a negative Covid test (within 72 hours of show time).

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the box office at 732-531-9106, Ext 14. Axelrod Performing Arts Center is located at 100 Grant Avenue in Deal Park, New Jersey.

Based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg
Directed by Abby C. Smith
Music Direction by Michael Gilch
Book by Kyle Jarrow

Original Songs by: Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I., and Songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny & Andy Paley Additional

Lyrics by Jonathan Coulton
Additional Music by Tom Kitt
Musical Production Conceived by Tina Landau

Presented by the Axelrod Performing Arts Academy, The SpongeBob Musical is based on the beloved animated series created by Stephen Hillenburg, TV’s number-one kids’ show for over 20 years. The Broadway production—which The New York Times called “brilliant”—was a surprise to children and adults alike! This production, directed by Broadway’s original Mrs. Puff, Abby C. Smith, takes place in Bikini Bottom where SpongeBob and his undersea cohorts face imminent annihilation. Thanks to the power of optimism (and musicals!), a new hero arises and the world is saved. With a score by some of the great pop songwriters of the past 50 years, The SpongeBob Musical is the hippest kids’ musical to ever open on Broadway.

The SpongeBob Musical is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals (

The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! was broadcast in December 2019 across Nickelodeon platforms and featured much of the original Broadway company reprising their performances, including Tony nominee Ethan Slater as the high-energy title sponge, Tony nominee Gavin Lee as Squidward Q. Tentacles, Danny Skinner as Patrick Star, Brian Ray Norris as Eugene Krabs, and Wesley Taylor as Sheldon Plankton. The TV event is available to stream on Paramount+ and is available on DVD.

The Original Broadway Cast Recording is available now from Masterworks Broadway wherever music is sold and streamed:

Original source: Broadway World New Jersey; Additional sources: New Jersey StageSpot On New Jersey.

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