Murray's Playhouse in the Park presents "The Spongebob Musical"
Murray's Playhouse in the Park travels underwater to Bikini Bottom this weekend and next in The Spongebob Musical. Actor Ian Ball (Spongebob Squarepants) and stage manager Jax Richardson speak to Tracy Ross about the upcoming performances.
From the Playhouse in the Park website:
"The stakes are higher than ever in this dynamic stage musical, as Spongebob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance.
And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage. The power of optimism really can save the world! The Spongebob Musicalis based on the beloved animated series."
Ball and Richardson explain that most of the cast and crew of The Spongebob Musical grew up watching the television series as kids. This childhood connection has made the production all the more special.
"The fact that I get to play as this iconic character that's been one of the godfathers of meme culture—it just blows my mind still to this day," Ball says. "It probably will still blow my mind after all this is over. It's pretty insane."
Even the director, Josh Byrne, grew up watching the show. "He loved the show," Richardson explains. "To be asked to direct it—for him, it was a no-brainer. He was so excited. It's a fun show; it's amazing. The animation, cartoon show is amazing, and the show is, too. It's a great representation."
"Another thing that's amazing about this show," Ball adds, "even if you're playing smaller roles in the musical, you're still playing a very iconic character. Every character that is in this show is an iconic TV character that we grew up watching for 20+ years."
The set design for The Spongebob Musical is bright, neon, fun, and a little junky—they are underwater, after all. "Everything sinks to the bottom of the ocean," Richardson says. "They've got buckets sitting everywhere, coral, a lot of painted pool noodles. We have backlights going on, so you've got the fluorescent reflecting. It's fun."
If an audience member doesn't recognize the references to the original Nickelodeon show, they might recognize some of the musical's contributing composers. Artists like the Flaming Lips, Panic! at the Disco, and T.I. contributed songs to the musical.
The musical runs between two and two and a half hours long with a 15-minute intermission. All ages are strongly encouraged for this hilarious, upbeat musical.
See showtimes for Playhouse in the Park's The Spongebob Musical below:
• Friday, February 11th at 7 pm
• Saturday, February 12th at 7 pm
• Sunday, February 13th at 2:30 pm
• Friday, February 18th at 7 pm
• Saturday, February 19th at 7 pm
• Sunday, February 20th at 2:30 pm