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New England native sets sail in ‘The Spongebob Musical’ - Metro US

New England native sets sail in ‘The Spongebob Musical’

New England native sets sail in ‘The Spongebob Musical’
Jeremy Daniel

Are you ready kids, because “The Spongebob Musical” ships up to Boston this month as part of the show’s first national tour.

Set to take over the Wang Theatre Oct. 15-27, the hit production based on the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon earned 12 Tony nominations and one win during its initial run on Broadway. After kicking off the national tour in Schenectady last month, Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward and the rest of the Bikini Bottom gang are finally heading to the Hub, and they’re setting sail with a special cast member who knows how to navigate Boston’s dirty water.

New England native Morgan Blanchard takes on the role of Patchy the Pirate in “The Spongebob Musical,” and he is thrilled to bring the show to his old stomping grounds. In fact, the Wang Theatre was where Blanchard saw his first touring show, “The Phantom of the Opera,” as a kid while growing up in Rye, N.H., just outside of Portsmouth.

“I could not be more excited,” Blanchard tells Metro. “Just to perform at the Wang is the craziest thing in the world. It’s where I grew up seeing all the tours coming through.”

Ever since his first school play in kindergarten, Blanchard has been enamored with theater and the arts. He scored his first role with a professional show in fifth grade as part of a production of “The Sound of Music” at Prescott Park, and hasn’t slowed down since.

“I kind of did theater non-stop from that moment on,” says Blanchard, who has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College.

With a slew of regional and national credits under his belt, Blanchard knew early on in high school that he wanted to make a career out of his creative outlets.

“Probably my freshman year of high school is when I knew that this is what I wanted to do,” says Blanchard. “Fortunately I had parents who were so supportive and ready to back me in that regardless of whether it’s stable or not.”

Having been a fan of the franchise since childhood, Blanchard admits that playing Patchy the Pirate in “The Spongebob Musical” is a massive opportunity, and he’s determined to give it his all since so many fans across the globe love the swashbuckling character from the cartoon. 

“It’s pretty huge,” says Blanchard. “It’s the biggest opportunity I’ve come across yet and I’m so grateful.”

“It’s such a blast to bring to life these cartoon characters that you think are so surface level,” he adds, “but they’re actually very detailed and can tell a really relevant and truthful story.”

As for why Spongebob and his pals have had such a big impact on culture over the decades, Blanchard notes that part of it is due to the show’s focus on community.

“The whole concept of Bikini Bottom,” says Blanchard. “This idea of community is very relatable. That’s what keeps people coming back to it.”

There’s also the show’s unique brand of humor, which Blanchard believes has influenced an entire generation of fans.

“The humor really has morphed our generation,” says Blanchard. “The way our generation finds things funny is incredibly shaped by Spongebob and other Nickelodeon cartoons.”

Oct. 15-27, Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., $25+, bochcenter.org

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