Fully absorbed in the spring show, Spongebob The Musical healed hearts



Patrick, played by junior Giani Nicolini gained popularity with the sardines as they realized his effortless wisdom. Nicolini’s performance dazzled the crowd, and the audience was loud with cheers whenever he was on stage.

Claire Trask, Staff Writer

Buena Theater has outdone themselves again, with an exceptional showing of Spongebob the Musical. I was fully absorbed in every song, captivated by miraculous dialogue, and moved by the deeper meaning of the musical, that identity doesn’t define success and that hardwork and dedication provide the ultimate payoff in the end.

Immediately upon entering the theater Friday, Apr. 29, my friends and I were greeted with feelings of nostalgia from our favorite childhood TV show, as the walls were decorated with the unique flora of Bikini Bottom. We were warmly welcomed by students and staff who helped with the production of the play, setting the stage for an amazing night.

The musical began with impeccable punctuality, and opened with history teacher Mike Gianelli as the Pirate. The skit at the beginning of the musical with Gianelli running around in a pirate costume, exclaiming his love for Spongebob and the excitement for the musical amped up the crowd, and left the stage in high spirits. The second act opened with a similar skit, and it was just as good the second time. 

I knew Buena’s theater program was good, but this was out of this world.

— Rachel Gleeson

The first act was simply magical. The performances delivered by the cast members were extremely well-rehearsed, and everyone seemed to be in their element. The cast appeared to be at home on the stage, and like their characters were an extension of themselves. 

The crowd was especially excited to see English teacher Andrew Coates as Old Man Jenkins, the audience erupted in cheers as he slowly made his way across the stage with the aid of a walker. My favorite part of the first act was Spongebob’s song about wanting to be more than just an employee at the Krusty Krab. His feelings of not being enough, and his skills not appreciated, were very realistic, and extremely relatable. 

The second act went on to be just as amazing, and the crowd was still as thoroughly engaged as the first. Spongebob, portrayed by junior Brandon Morris, Sandy, portrayed by senior Mariah Young, and Patrick, portrayed by Gianni Nicolini, saved Bikini Bottom from the underwater volcano eruption despite the townsfolk’s disapproval of their plan. Sandy was constantly put down by other members of the community because she came from land, and was different from the rest of Bikini Bottom. 

I thought this storyline was extremely timely, and related to other subjects such as sexism and racism. At the end of the play, everyone is grateful to the trio for saving the town, but I felt Sandy still deserved better for her efforts. She still relied on the help of Patrick and Spongebob, two males, to execute her plan.

Despite that, my favorite part of the second act was Squidward’s long anticipated solo. With help from the Buena Dance Team, senior Isaiah Maldonado’s Squidward serenaded the crowd, and moved the audience to a standing ovation, and even an encore.

After the musical, I felt transformed. I would watch this musical three times in a row and notice something new every time. The cast was fully emerged in their craft, and it was a fine demonstration of what Buena Theater is all about. In the words of Gwenyth Paltrow, “I laughed, I cried, and I had many epiphanies.” This musical sets a high bar for next year’s spring show, and I have no doubt that the extraordinary students that participate in theater will continue to exceed expectations.

“[The performances] exceeded my expectations,” audience member Rachel Gleeson said. “I knew Buena’s theater program was good, but this was out of this world.”