UHS presents: “SpongeBob the Musical”

Reagan Gregory, Staff Writer 

The SpongeBob Musical was performed in the UHS theater on March 3rd-5th and March 10-12th, which signified the return of UHS’ theater arts to in-person musicals. The musical is about Bikini Bottom being on the verge of destruction due to an erupting underwater volcano. The play revolved around the three main characters: Spongebob, Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks.

Everything about the musical made the audience feel as if they were actually in Bikini Bottom, from the costumes and accents to the bubbles that floated down from the theater’s roof during the closing scene. The singing was also superb, and everyone’s ranges and abilities were successfully integrated with their respective characters. Lastly, the costumes caught my eye immediately as they were creative and well put together, especially for characters such as Plankton and his computer wife, Karen. 

Senior Kaylie Kubota, who acted as Karen, wore a futuristic, shiny vest paired with white knee-high boots, space buns in her hair and pulled along a computer screen on a pole, creating a replica of the one in the TV show. On the other hand, Plankton was a complicated character to accurately portray due to his small size. During Plankton’s initial entrance, the lights focused on a tiny Plankton stuffed plushie before turning it over to the actual actor, senior Scott Burke, for the rest of the time being. 

The natural chemistry between all actors was felt throughout the audience. Plankton and Karen felt like a real married couple that had been sick of each other for years, and Spongebob and Patrick made it feel like they had been best friends forever, with only a bond that the two could understand.

The stage was decorated as Bikini Bottom. The sides of the stage were decorated with large fishnets with floats and cut-up pool noodles meant to represent kelp. The model jellyfish ranged in size from a few feet long to as tall as the stage. 

The orchestra’s live music was the cherry on top of the performance. Accompanied by drums, the pit orchestra played loud enough to be heard from the back of the room, but not loud enough to cover up the singing. They also stayed in tune throughout the musical and were never out of time. 

This musical was also the first to include a hard-of-hearing actor in UHS history. Including UHS’ hard-of-hearing community in this event was the perfect chance to help integrate them into the UHS student body. Senior Joe Sarcenci was the hard-of-hearing actor playing the role of the poor pirate with an odd SpongeBob obsession. 

To help Sarcenci stay on time, Mr. Rob Blanley, the orchestra pit conductor, cued Sarcenci, while junior Natalia Montano was his voice actor.

“The company and the directors were super nice and supportive of me,” Sarcenci said. “I sometimes worried if I was being a burden because they were so nice and understanding. I always felt like I had a place in the show and I couldn’t ask for a better company for this show.”

Sarcenci said it was an overall positive experience and he would love to act again in a UHS event if he was not graduating this year. He also wants to encourage other deaf students at UHS to participate in the theater program. 

“Go for it,” Saraceni said. “Don’t be too shy or be too proud to ask for help when you need it. It is definitely hard work, but it is also so rewarding.” 

On the last night of the musical, the cast closed the SpongeBob saga without wearing masks (as the mask mandate was being lifted on the 11th), making the performance the first one with no masks since the pandemic started. 

Overall, the musical was highly enjoyable and loved by the audience and set the bar even higher for future UHS theater productions.