Emma Lesko, blue shirt, rehearses singing in the role of Patrick Star for Chippewa Valley High School’s production of “The SpongeBob Musical.” Lesko is backed up by a chorus of Sardines.

Emma Lesko, blue shirt, rehearses singing in the role of Patrick Star for Chippewa Valley High School’s production of “The SpongeBob Musical.” Lesko is backed up by a chorus of Sardines.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

‘The SpongeBob Musical’ coming to Chippewa Valley High

By: Dean Vaglia | Fraser-Clinton Chronicle | Published November 7, 2023

 Andrew Curcuru rehearses the role of Mr. Krabs.

Andrew Curcuru rehearses the role of Mr. Krabs.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Are you ready, Big Reds? Aye, aye captain!

Chippewa Valley High School Musical Productions will take audiences on an adventure to Bikini Bottom this November with 2023’s fall show, “The SpongeBob Musical.”

“The show is about SpongeBob and his friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks,” said director Braeden Haggarty. “The three of them are getting together to save the town from a volcano eruption that will destroy all of Bikini Bottom.”

Based on the hit Nickelodeon cartoon now in its 24th year on television, “The SpongeBob Musical” ran on Broadway from 2017-2018 and was nominated for 12 categories at the 2018 Tony Awards. The Broadway show ultimately took home the award for best scenic design, and the legacy of intricate sets has not been lost on the Chippewa Valley High School choir crew.

“One of the highlights of our set pieces is our three-part moving mountain, which the students are coordinating choreography to (in order) to make different shapes with it and really show off the versatility of the set piece,” Haggarty said.

On the technical side of the show, a full-time foley sound artist will create sound effects along with the show using electronic sounds and physical instruments.

The serious effort taken to pull off a silly premise is a recurring approach taken throughout the production. Haggarty says audiences can expect an engaging show alongside all the silliness expected from a SpongeBob musical, a sentiment echoed by producer James Pecar.

“It’s good for all ages,” Pecar said. “There’s something for everybody to learn and experience at all ages here with the show.”

In its more than 20 years on the air “SpongeBob SquarePants” and its characters have become ubiquitous parts of the children’s entertainment landscape.

“This is a show I watched at my grandma’s house every time I visited, so it kind of brings me back to that,” said Abby Schmidt, a senior at Chippewa Valley High School, playing Squidward Q. Tentacles.

Watching the show in their youth made the characters familiar to actors, and a lifetime of experience has allowed them to develop deeper understandings of Bikini Bottom’s denizens.

“I’ve looked at his character a lot and even rewatched a few episodes of the show, and a lot of his stuff I feel — especially in the musical — is based around insecurity,” Schmidt said. “He’s not very confident in himself and he really just wants this one big thing in his life. He’s just grumpy because he’s insecure.”

The search for nautical levels of character depth even includes the saltiest small business owner Eugene H. Krabs.

“He’s pretty much just all about money even in the cartoon, too, but in the show, he gets to have a bit of a character arc where he gets better,” said Gavin Mace, a senior at Chippewa Valley, who plays the role of Krabs.

Between going the extra mile on sets and getting the chance to play icons of their childhood, the cast and crew await the opening night curtain with excitement.

“Be open to being silly and weird and the fun of it, because it’s a fun show,” Schmidt said.

“The SpongeBob Musical” plays at Chippewa Valley High School at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 16-18. There will also be a 1 p.m. matinee on Nov. 18. Tickets are purchased through cvhsmusicals.org.

The November musical marks the beginning of Chippewa Valley High School’s 2023-24 theater year. “Little Women” will be the school’s first spring musical in March 2024.