Morgan Blanchard has stepped into the role of Patchy The Pirate in The SpongeBob Musical, but is wise beyond his years in terms of his career trajectory and knowing what musical theater means to fans. Playing through December 15th at The Forest Theater, Blanchard is playing a role that gets to really dive deep in with the actual audience throughout the production. I caught up with Blanchard (who just spent the last year on the road with The Sound Of Music) and we chatted about his dream role, and what it means as a performer to see how much this production means to the audiences that comes to see it over and over.
Michael Cook: What do you think your favorite part about bringing the The SpongeBob Musical to life?
Morgan Blanchard: I had this realization a few days ago, seeing all of the little kids in the audience light up. I play Patchy The Pirate, he starts out the show, and I get to wander the audience. A couple of days ago there was an audience that was just filled with little kids and they were being the most adorable. It was so fun to see them completely light up. When I was younger, I would go see those shows and it is nice getting to pass that on.
MC: For those that have not seen the show, tell me how Patchy weaves in with the rest of The Spongebob Musical?
MB: Patchy is Spongebob’s biggest fan. He is supposed to be an extension of the audience as if he were there to just show up to see the show as well; Basically, he wants to get in with Spongebob. By the end, he is welcomed into Bikini Bottom and becomes one with the community there.
MC: The message of wanting to be a part of something and being a part of a community is a message that kids of all ages could relate to right?
MB: Oh absolutely!
MC: Take me back, when did you realize that musical theatre would be the passion that you would be following ?
MB: Probably when I was in middle school to early high school and it suddenly was like “oh shit this is what I need to do”. I started performing when I was young, at five or six. When I really committed to it, it was early middle school or high school.
MC: Is there a role out there that you think would be a perfect fit that is a dream of yours that you would love to tackle?
MB: Right now, I do feel a little young for some roles, but I definitely would say George in Sunday in the Park With George. That would be my ideal role at some point, I love that show. I just think that on a surface level, the melodic consistencies in the show and the themes that Sondheim sprinkled throughout the whole show are just brilliant. It is kind of dissecting the life of an artist and an artist’s relationship with love and who puts what first; do you put love first or do you put your artistry first and how does that affect your relationships. No only with your significant other, but with your family. I just think that is pretty brilliant. And with yourself-where do you rank yourself among the loves in your life?
MC: The Spongebob Musical is the kind of show that has appeal to everyone. Obviously the show appeals to so many kind in the LGBT community. Have you ever had an experience with a young fan who truly is just looking for a place to fit in?
MB: Oh absolutely. We have superfans who fly to most of our cities to see the show. We have one person who has seen the show so many times. They are non binary and every time we go, they get a signed playbill and they say over and over how much “they cannot express how much joy and happiness we bring to them”. There are so many people, so many young queer people, who come to see the show. The sense of community is actually quite brilliant and incredibly accepting. Sometimes we get fan mail from many young queer people, who have just come out and saying how truly special it is to them.
MC: What would the Morgan that stepped onto the The SpongeBob Musical stage be able to learn from the Morgan that is talking to me now?
MB: I would say listen to your gut and don’t shy away from your gut. So much more brilliance can happen when you listen to your own soul.
Art Courtesy of Production
Tickets Available For The SpongeBob Musical Are Available Here