Monday, November 29, 2021

Cast Announced For Dingbat Theatre Project's 'The SpongeBob Musical'

The musical is based on the hit Nickelodeon television series, which premiered in 1999.

Sarasota, FL - After producing Shrek the Musical and Hedwig and the Angry Inch over the summer, Dingbat Theatre Project will be tackling another full-scale musical: the area premiere of The SpongeBob Musical.

The world-famous sea sponge and his exotic array of aquatic compatriots will hit the stage indoors at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime this December. The musical is based on the beloved Nickelodeon television series, which premiered in 1999. The musical, which played on Broadway in 2017, earned twelve Tony nominations including Best Musical. The show was conceived by Tina Landau, with a book by Kyle Jarrow, and original music by a variety of popular musicians including Aerosmith, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, and others.

Dingbat's production features a multi-talented cast of twelve playing multiple roles similar to their production of Shrek the Musical in May 2021. The cast is filled out with a four-piece band who fill out roles in the ensemble. The production is lead by the directing team of Brian F. Finnerty, who also choreographs, and Luke Manual McFatrich. They are both collaborating on costume, scenic, and prop design. The show is music directed by Michelle Kasanofsky and stage managed by Gretchen Beaumier.

The citizens of "Bikini Bottom" are led by Jamie Molina in the role of SpongeBob SquarePants, Luke Manual McFatrich as Patrick Star, and Noelia Altamirano as Sandy Cheeks. All appeared in the company's production of Shrek, and McFatrich portrayed Hedwig in Dingbat's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Molina has also appeared locally at Florida Studio Theatre and The Players Centre, while Altamirano has been seen in many other local productions.

The professional company is rounded out with other Dingbat returns like Amanda Heisey as Squidward Q. Tentacles, Brian F. Finnerty as Mr. Eugene Krabs, Javisha Strong as Ms. Mayor and Gary, and Cory Woomert as Perch Perkins and Patchy the Pirate. All appeared in Shrek, Heisey appeared in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Finnerty acts as Co-Artistic Director for the company.

New faces to the Dingbat stage include Christina Capehart as Karen the Computer, Hunter Day as Sheldon J. Plankton, Austin Howeth as Mrs. Puff, Andrew Smiley as Larry the Lobster, and Kiley Berkery as Pearl Krabs. Capehart has made a name for herself through her many performances at Manatee Performing Arts Center and in the Tampa Bay Area, most recently portraying Fastrada in Pippin at MPAC. Day and Smiley have been seen on local stages in The Players Centre's productions of Head Over Heels and [title of show] respectively. Berkery is a high school student, who was recently seen in John & Jen at Venice Theatre.

The SpongeBob Musical will play indoors at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime (821 Apricot Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237) December 2-19, 2021. Tickets starting at $15.00 are available exclusively online at Dingbat Theatre Project is participating in #SafeArtsSarasota. Their current COVID-19 protocols are available to view at

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:

‘SpongeBob the Musical’ brings favorite cartoon characters to Sarasota stage

Jamie Molina plays the title role in Dingbat Theatre Project’s production of “SpongeBob the Musical.” PROVIDED BY DINGBAT THEATRE PROJECT

For more than 20 years, “SpongeBob SquarePants” and his animated friends and neighbors in Bikini Bottom have been entertaining audiences young and old with the way they deal with major and minor problems.

Fans followed them from the Nickelodeon TV series to feature films and on to Broadway where “SpongeBob the Musical” brought a major crisis to the characters’ underwater world. It had a nearly yearlong run in 2018.

Arts Newsletter: Sign up to receive the latest news on the Sarasota area arts scene every Monday

Holidays on TV: Sarasota CEO crafts a Hallmark Christmas film from an ‘American Idol’ winner’s song

The Dingbat Theatre Project, which previously presented “Shrek: The Musical” (another show based on an animated hit) and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” returns to the Bazaar at Apricot and Lime with an intimate production of the show.

Co-director and company founder Luke McFatrich, who also plays Patrick, SpongeBob’s best friend, said audiences don’t have to know anything about the cartoon to appreciate the musical.

“The story is completely original and based on the characters. It stands on its own,” McFatrich said, likening it to “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which was an original story based on the Peanuts.

The show was co-conceived by director Tina Landau with a book by Kyle Jarrow, and a song list by a range of pop stars from John Legend and Cyndi Lauper to Sara Bareilles, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, They Might be Giants, the Flaming Lips and David Bowie.

Luke McFatrich, top, as Patrick, and Jamie Molina as SpongeBob in “The SpongeBob Musical” produced by the Dingbat Theatre Project. PROVIDED BY DINGBAT THEATRE PROJECT

In the musical, an underwater volcano, Mount Humongous, is threatening to explode tomorrow, “and everybody is freaking out about how to solve the problem,” said Jamie Molina, who plays SpongeBob.

The problem divides the residents of Bikini Bottom. Plankton and Karen, owners of the Chum Bucket restaurant, encourage people to enter an escape pod, and they plan a benefit concert to raise money to build the pod. But SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy Cheeks want everyone to stay together to help save their home.

Playing a cultural icon

Molina, who recently moved to Colorado, was excited to come back to Sarasota to play SpongeBob because the cartoon was something she watched every morning before going to school.

But she was nervous about playing such an iconic character.

“Everyone knows this character even if they didn’t watch the show. They have preconceived notions,” she said. “I had to figure out why I connect with him. What do I personally have in common with him. It’s the energy and the positivity.”

McFatrich, who also grew up watching the cartoons, said SpongeBob “is the personification of childhood. Every emotion that SpongeBob feels is the most extreme. When he’s angry, he’s really angry, when he’s scared, he’s scared and he shows that on his sleeve.”

McFatrich is directing the production with Brian F. Finnerty, who also plays Mr. Eugene Krabs. They also are designing the costumes and Finnerty is providing the choreography. The cast also includes Noelia Altamirano as Sandy Cheeks, Amanda Heisey as Squidward Q. Tentacles, along with Cory Woomert, Hunter Day, Kiley Berkerey, Javisha Strong, Eldred Brown, Austin Howeth and Zoe Smith.

Many of the cast members also appeared in “Shrek.”

Dingbat Theatre is following the #SafeArtsSarasota safety protocols, requiring audience members to show a negative COVID-19 test (or a vaccine card) and everyone must wear a mask indoors. 

SpongeBob The Musical

Conceived by Tina Landau, book by Kyle Jarrow. Runs Dec. 3-19 at the Bazaar on Apricot and Lime, 821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota. Tickets are $30, $15 for low-sitting beach chairs and bean bags with obstructed views. For more information:


Originally published: October 14, 2021.

Original source: Broadway World.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon and SpongeBob SquarePants News and Highlights!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say by leaving a comment below! NickALive! welcomes friendly and respectful comments. Please familiarize with the blog's Comment Policy before commenting. All new comments are moderated and won't appear straight away.