Audiences can take in all the sights and sounds of SpongeBob: The Musical at the Schuster Center, November 19-24.
Who lives a dream under the stage lights? Lorenzo Pugliese. It’s not as catchy as the theme song to SpongeBob Squarepants. However, its truth can’t be denied. Pugliese is living a dream by playing the title character in SpongeBob: The Musical, based on the hit animated show.
SpongeBob is a role Pugliese was born to play as preparations began at an early age, without him even knowing it. “When I was a little kid I would get up in the morning, open the window and yell, ‘Good morning world and all who inhabit it,’ which is one of his catchphrases. Now it’s my first line in the show,” said Pugliese.
Conceived and directed by Tina Landau, SpongeBob: The Musical brings all of Bikini Bottoms most popular inhabitants to life. The Tony award winning musical contains songs from several big names in the music industry; such as Steven Tyler, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, David Bowie, and Cyndi Lauper. After opening on Broadway in 2017, SpongeBob: The Musical is now on a national tour.
After just graduating in May from the University of Arts, Pugliese is thrilled to be on tour for the first time in his young career. He finds great satisfaction in entertaining audiences of all ages, no matter if they have heard of the Krusty Krab or not. “Part of its brilliance is that those not familiar with the characters will still enjoy the show and its universal story,” he said. “The feedback from adults, almost exclusively, is that they came for the kids and ended up enjoying it more than they did.”
Though Pugliese and his fellow cast-mates don’t assume all the physical (or vocal) traits of their characters, their identities are still made clear. “It’s a human representation of iconic cartoon characters. We do blend of cartoon characters with human characteristics, which is how Landau brilliantly created it to be,” said Pugliese.
On Broadway, the set design team won a Tony, and the staging is very similar for the national tour. A mix of vibrant colors promises to be a spectacular vision to witness. Audiences can take in all the sights and sounds of SpongeBob: The Musical at the Schuster Center, November 19-24.
Mike Woody is a life long resident of Dayton, and has a passion for writing, which is good because he doesn't excel at much of anything else, except eating.