By Emily Clarke and Mary Murphy
The lights dim as we dive into the depths of Bikini Bottom, mesmerized by the intricate elements to illuminate the stage. We were grabbed by the fin and taken into a world under the sea where our Nickelodeon fantasies were presented before us in a way we never thought possible. Curtains open and “Bikini Bottom Day” begins as we are introduced to the townspeople and get a sense of the character’s love for their town, Bikini Bottom, which is calculated to be annihilated by the volcano known as Mount Humongous in a short time. Not wanting what they know and love to be destroyed, they have been put in a panic and turn to someone to blame and someone to believe. Along with the chaos, Plankton has an evil plot to use this tragedy to his full advantage, by hypnotizing the citizens and finally getting fame for the Chum Bucket. Despite the tragedy and challenges that lie ahead, Spongebob and Sandy surge on to try to save Bikini Bottom, with the Erupter Interrupter, a device created to stop the eruption. Back in Bikini Bottom, a concert is being planned to raise enough funds to leave Bikini Bottom per Plankton’s request. Who will save the town? Who will rise, good or evil?
This musical allowed the East Greenwich High School to experiment with new technology and pave the way for other plays in the future.
“We had more light cues (over 300), more projections (over 100), and more sound cues (over 80), than in any other show in the past 20 years,” says director and producer Mr. Petrucci.
This show heavily relied on the lights, backdrop, and sound effects to help audience members understand the setting and feel engaged, like they were too living under the sea. The music made everything come together, like the last piece of a magnificent puzzle, with the variety of instruments and talented musicians who elevated the show. Along with lighting, the sets were truly spectacular, and the costumes transformed the actors into their characters. The interactive elements immersed us into the play and made us feel like a part of the show, getting to sing “Aye, aye, Captain!” and seeing actors run through the aisles. All of this thanks to the help of the crew of the show, but especially Mr. Petrucci, who was the reason the show went on.
The stars of the show, the cast of the Spongebob Musical, performed beautifully with hilarious acting and moving songs. The play was different from anything done before– more comedic than previous plays.
“This show is very different from other shows. It was written to be gender-neutral and versatile for all different people. It wasn’t a mature show necessarily, but it was a fun one, and I think everyone needs a little fun right now,” says Allison Butterfield, who performed as Patrick Star.
Through each song, we were able to see a piece of each character and the actors conveyed their role in the play perfectly. Some of the top hits were (Just A) Simple Sponge, performed by Alexa Warren as Spongebob. Alexa put on an amazing performance as Spongebob and truly conveyed the character. Other favorites were Daddy Knows Best, by Dennis Smith and Ellye Lennon, who belted out this song wonderfully and blew the audience away, as well as (I Guess I) Miss You, performed by Allison Butterfield and Alexa Warren, surely a dynamic duo. Chop to the Top by Julia Erickson as Sandy and Alexa Warren was another fantastic performance. Empowering the crowd along with Sandy and Spongebob, it was a fantastic addition.
“My favorite song to perform was definitely Chop to the Top. I’ve done theater with Alexa Warren for years but I’ve never gotten to play opposite her in a musical, so it was so much fun to finally do that duet with her. Even if it was maybe the most physically taxing song in the show for me, I loved it so much,” says Erickson.
I’m Not A Loser, performed by Chloe Jordan was a combination of hilarious and spectacular. With a kickline and Chloe’s amazing voice, the scene was near-perfection. All of the cast brought each of their own uniqueness and talents together and made a piece of art, each one a different color on the canvas to create a masterpiece and “considering all we went through to get to this point, it’s one of our best productions,” states Mr. Petrucci. The show was a way for the cast to shine and they definitely did, even through the depths of the sea.
Mr. Petrucci, who directed and produced this musical, is extremely involved at the high school through the Avenger Theater, softball team, advisor of the Student Council, and much more. He is the backbone of the theater program and has given many kids a chance to shine.
When asked why he chooses to participate in the Avenger Theater, he said, “I love it! I love everything about it. Performing, producing, and seeing it all come together is one of the coolest moments of every school year. It’s an amazing experience.”
Through Mr. Petrucci’s hard work and dedication to this school, the Avenger Theater was able to have another successful and fun year performing and bringing smiles to so many faces. “Preparation was vigorous with many long hours but it was all worth it just for the smile and laughs from the audiences,” said Dennis Smith, who performed as Mr. Krabs.
This year’s production of the Spongebob Musical was unlike any other, with its advanced technology, fantastic cast, and passion that overwhelmed the audience in the best way possible. Mr. Petrucci’s final thoughts were, “It was thrilling, exciting, and a long time coming. It was exhausting, but the good kind.”
“I also would like to thank the community for their support, our administration, our teachers and staff, and the custodians who graciously work with us during production week. Big shoutouts to Mr. Carniaux, Mimi Scheff, Mrs. Champagne, and Mr. Doucette, without this team in place, none of this would be possible,” states Mr. Petrucci.