SpongeBob the Musical Review

The story of “The Best Day Ever” is told at PHS

The cast of Spongebob remind everyone that it is the “Best Day Ever”

With two out of three shows sold out, The SpongeBob Musical presented by the Piscataway High School drama club was a big hit. The auditorium was packed to see SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy save their underwater town, Bikini Bottom, from a volcano predicted to erupt and destroy the community. The musical contained a talented cast with Najm Muhammad as SpongeBob Squarepants, Glenzell Baker as Patrick Star, and Maya Roberson as Sandy Cheeks.

The musical, based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg and conceived by Tina Landau, contained a variety of original songs by well-known artists such as Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, David Bowie, members of Aerosmith, and so much more. Our personal favorite songs of the night were “Bikini Bottom Day,” “BFF,” “When the Going Gets Tough,” “Poor Pirates,” “Chop to the Top,” “(I Guess I) Miss You,” and “Best Day Ever,” the iconic song from the original television series. The way the cast and the crew came together to sing and dance in front of beautifully painted set designs caused this musical to truly stand out.

The musical opens up with a bang as Patchy the Pirate, played by Allen Lopez, takes off from the back of the auditorium and crashes onto the scene to take a selfie with the crowd in a hilarious fashion. Melly Merida took up the role of the unseen French Narrator, another beloved voice from the original show. Many characters such as Perch Perkins, played by Jackson Bartle, commanded the room by successfully using the full scope of the auditorium to make the audience feel included. The songs guide us through the final hours of life in Bikini Bottom that even adds in a music show with the band “Electric Skates” featuring Ashley Hamilton, Makya Lucky (who was the student choreographer), Savannah Weaver, and Sophia Westberg.

The lead, Najm Muhammad, demonstrated his amazing talents in the spotlight he highly deserved. He did a great job impersonating SpongeBob from the animated show almost everybody knows. His attention to detail while performing is unmatched, completely embodying the role of SpongeBob from his iconic laugh to his childish behavior. Glenzell Baker (Patrick Star) and Maya Roberson (Sandy Cheeks) also did fantastic jobs impersonating their roles, even nailing down the way each character talks. Baker’s bond with Muhammad shone through as they reenacted the close friendship that Patrick and SpongeBob had through “BFF.” Roberson’s vocals were wonderfully surprising as she stole the underwater show in her astronaut costume and bushy tail.

The costumes caught our eyes as well! Squidward Q. Tentacles, played by Obie Shields, wore a four-legged outfit and blue hair. His performance was so fun to watch as he gave off the same anti-SpongeBob vibes as the TV show character, and showed us his talented range of emotions during “I’m Not a Loser.” Wearing reflective clothing and stunning makeup, Andrea Ladia (Karen the Computer) was definitely hard to miss as her sassiness and dance skills came through in her acting. Sheldon J. Plankton, played by Jacob Hall, had a very unexpected rap performance during “When the Going Gets Tough” that had the audience at the edge of their seats. His laboratory and outfit fitted with an eye patch and a green combat-type suit was inspired by Dr. Evil from the “Austin Powers” movie series that brought another hint of nostalgia into this play, and he even had a “life-sized” version of Plankton strapped to his ankle. Eugene H. Krabs, played by Ryan Walker, wore huge red claws all night whilst Larry the Lobster, played by Neil Mandar, showed off his strength in a puffy red muscle costume. Even Old Many Jenkins, played by Lathan Gil, and Mrs. Puff, played by Abby Hunt, had on memorable outfits. It was extremely clear that the entire cast gave their all in their performances. Their dedication and time that was put into the musical was evident.

At first the musical seemed purely lighthearted and comedic. However, looking underneath the hilarious jokes and amazing singing, the musical dealt with issues relating to racism, parent-child relations, and friendships. When the end of days was near, citizens of Bikini Bottom turned against Sandy Cheeks for being a land mammal that moved into their community and accused her for causing the volcano to potentially erupt. Although Sandy was not at fault and was trying to help the community, they blamed her for being different. The father daughter duo of Mr. Krabs and Pearl Krabs, played by the talented Reiko Guanlao, revealed some problems as well. Pearl sought to leave her father since he does not pay attention to her and only cares for money. This is a considerable issue that could apply to teens that might not get the proper affection they need from their parents. Patrick and SpongeBob taught us the importance of putting petty feelings aside and the value of true friendship.

The SpongeBob Musical contained constant delightful surprises throughout the entire night. Seeing the relief on the cast and crew’s faces as they took their final bows and the audience provided standing ovations was unforgettable. The PHS drama club continues to put on outstanding performances year after year, and the musicals are events you never want to miss.