Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Well from now until Dec. 15, Lorenzo Pugliese does. The University of the Arts graduate is taking on the leading role of arguably one of the most iconic cartoon characters, SpongeBob SquarePants, and all Bikini Bottom loving fans are certainly in for a treat. “The SpongeBob Musical” will feature all of the show’s beloved characters (although actors will not be in costumes, but performing as ‘human’ performers) and an all-new storyline that has never been seen before on TV. The smash hit production also features an original pop and rock-infused musical score from an impressive lineup of Grammy Award-winning songwriters including Steven Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend and more. Lorenzo Pugliese sat down with Metro to chat about the show, how he prepared for the role and what song he’s most excited to perform as SpongeBob SquarePants.
University of the Arts graduate Lorenzo Pugliese hits the stage as SpongeBob SquarePants
How did you get the role of SpongeBob? What made you want to play him?
“SpongeBob” was one of my favorite shows growing up, and when the musical came out, a lot of my friends told me I’d be good for the role, so I went to the open call!
What did you do to prepare for the role?
All I really needed to do was take direction from our incredibly brilliant creative team. They’ve done all of the groundwork, and they did all of the preparation.
Do you feel any pressure bringing such a beloved and well-known character to life on stage?
Of course there is a little bit of pressure being that SpongeBob is probably as iconic as it gets when it comes to cartoon characters.
Does the plot of the show follow any storylines from the TV series or is it a completely new story?
No! It is a completely new and exciting story. It follows the citizens of Bikini Bottom as they are met with their impending doom when it’s announced that Mt. Humongous (a giant volcano) is set to erupt the following evening. The stakes couldn’t be higher. But there’s also a whole lot of fun.
What can audiences expect from the music from the show?
They can expect an incredible roster of legends and Grammy Award-winning artists such as Yolanda Adams, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Brendon Urie, T.I., Lady Antebellum, The Flaming Lips and more.
Is there any scene or song you are the most excited to perform?
I love to sing “I Guess I Miss You.” It’s a beautifully honest song about two best pals realizing what it’s like to miss each other for the first time, written by the one and only John Legend.
Catch “The SpongeBob Musical” on stage at the Forrest Theatre now until Dec. 15.