Chaffey College to present “SpongeBob The Musical” Nov. 16-19 | Entertainment

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The adventures of SpongeBob SquarePants and friends will grace the Chaffey College Theatre stage with “SpongeBob the Musical,” opening Nov. 16.

The musical, based on the animated Nickelodeon television series, will feature 37 student actors, 15 technicians working behind the scenes and a six-piece orchestra, said Sheila Malone, play director and professor of theatre arts.

“It’s kind of like a big beach party,” Malone said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The musical focuses on the citizens of Bikini Bottom and an impending volcano eruption that threatens to destroy their town. The characters’ teamwork to save their home brings about themes of friendship and unity.

Set designs and props are made of recycled and “found objects” — with walls of sea kelp adorned with the glimmer of green plastic bottles, jellyfish crafted from badminton birdies and party trays and puffer fish fashioned from five-gallon water jugs. It’s an underlying statement Malone wanted to make against plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

The upstage area will feature a massive 119-panel LED display, featuring under water scenery and more.

Like the cartoon, the musical contains dialogue and humor that will appeal to both children and adults.

What fans won’t see are costumes depicting cartoon versions of the show’s characters. Instead, they’ll see actors representing those characters as humans, wearing clothing resembling the attire of the show.

“The whole play is based on the imagination,” Malone said. “Imagining what it would be like to be SpongeBob, Patrick or Squidward — tapping into the human quality of the characters and bringing them to the stage.”

The musical features songs by artists such as The Flaming Lips, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, David Bowie and more.

Musical theater major Ninive Carrillo, who plays SpongeBob’s friend, Sandy Cheeks, said the play appeals to her because of its theme of building and repairing friendships.

“I feel like I relate to Sandy the most because I once was an outcast at a young age, but even in the hardest times I had great friends who could push me through the most challenging times and I knew I could do the same for them,” she said.

“SpongeBob the Musical” will be staged at 7 p.m. Nov. 16-18, with Nov. 17 featuring sign-language interpretation. The final performance will be a matinee at 2 p.m. Nov. 19. The Chaffey College Theatre is at 5885 Haven Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga. Tickets are $10.

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