(OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ) -- The Axelrod Performing Arts Academy (APAA) presents its first musical, The SpongeBob Musical, at the Axelrod Performing Arts (APAC) Center for two weekends, beginning Thanksgiving weekend: November 27 through December 5, 2021. 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).
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, 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.”
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 are available for purchase online 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.