The undersea world of Bikini Bot- tom is about to be brought to life as Brookswood Musical Theatre is set to present the theatrical production SpongeBob SquarePants, The Musi- cal in Langley.
The show will feature all the be- loved characters from the animated series with original songs by various artists and is the result of the hard work of the 37 students from grades eight to 12 who make up the cast.
According to artistic director Sheri Eyre, the show was added to the team’s list of potential productions after she saw a show in the Big Apple five years ago.
“In 2018 I was in New York City on a summer trip. I had heard about a musical based on the TV show SpongeBob, and while it sounded like a terrible idea, the creative team behind the score was so impressive and the reviews were so positive, I decided to wait in line to get a rush ticket. Not having grown up with the cartoon, I had no frame of reference, but I still had a blast watching the show,” said Eyre.
“It’s colourful, joyous, and it cele- brates the power of friendship, and community,” she added.
Grade 10 Mimi Kokkoris, who is playing SpongeBob, shared similar sentiments.
“SpongeBob is a very upbeat and cheerful character who values friendship and teamwork and will do whatever it takes to save the day,” said Kokkoris.
Kokkoris added that they always had a passion for musical theatre, and it all started when they were four.
“My mom once put Lady Gaga’s Born This Way on the TV. Ever since then I knew I was meant to be on the stage,” they said. When I got cast as SpongeBob I was so excited, but I was quickly riddled with anxiety and the fear I wouldn’t be able to prop- erly convey SpongeBob as a charac- ter… everyone knows who Sponge- Bobis,andnowIhaveajobtomake the audience feel like they are a part of Bikini Bottom, but with the help from directors Sheri Eyre and Gor- don Hamilton I feel as though I am ready and prepared to do what it takes to become SpongeBob.”
Talking about his character Patrick the starfish, Grade 11’s Ali Mason-Zolotoochin said they enjoyed playing SpongeBob’s slothful but caring friend.
“[The character] is a very naive. He can be quite lazy at times, but he is good at heart and loves his friends and his town.”
Zolotoochin has been in theatre since they were six years old.
“[Theatre] is the place where I feel the most authentic. I have made some best friends through theatre and it’s really like a second home to me.”
Zolotoochin hopes to stay true to the show, while at the same time add some of individuality to the role.
For Matteo Scott, a Grade 11 stu- dent, the inspiration to play Sheldon J. Plankton came from his elementa- ry school teacher Mr. T.
“Mr. T inspired me to be a part
of his musical, but when I couldn’t be a part of it I was very bummed. This caused me to join the musical in Grade 8 so that
I could get the the- atre experience that I missed. What I did not foresee was that I would get hooked to theatre and join again and again leading to now.”
Scott also being one of the tallest members of the cast found it chal- lenging to play Plankton, a tiny little evil character.
“However, I believe that our solu- tion properly portrays Plankton as the evil genius he is,” he added.
“This musical has given me a lot of great people that I now consider as friends, and a space to be my- self where I know I am not being judged, but only encouraged to be better every day. I’ve learned to be disciplined and hard working for myself, but also for everyone else in the production. I now understand how every little role or part is essen- tial for the finished product.”
Director Eyre said “seeing the joy [students] feel at being proud of their work and the joy we can bring to our audiences is so important. I want people to see this show because it will put a smile on their faces.”
Showtime is at 7 p.m. with a running time of two hours and 15 minutes. The show will run from Wednesday, Feb. 22 to Saturday, Feb. 25 and from Wednesday, March 1 to Saturday, March 4.
For tickets, people can visit showtix4u.com/events/bsstheatre2023.
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