Dingbat Theatre Project is at it again, this time with the SpongeBob Musical production showing at the Bizaare on Apricot and Lime, December 3rd through 19th.
Director and choreographer Brian Finnerty, along with the star of the show, Jamie Molina, join the club this week to talk about the production, Dingbat's special take on the show, and what makes our area such a wealth of collaboration with all of our arts groups.
You can get your tickets to this show by going to Dingbat Theatre's Website or through the Suncoast Culture Club's Calendar of Events page.
Come along and join the club!
• Dingbat Theatre Company Website & Facebook & Instagram
• Jamie Molina Website
• The Bazaar at Apricot and Lime Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• Venice Theatre Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube & Twitter & Trip Advisor
• Florida Studio Theatre Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• Asolo Repertory Theatre Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• The Players Centre for the Performing Arts Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• State College of Florida Music Program Website & Facebook & Instagram
Support the show (https://scf-foundation.org/suncoastcultureclub/)
Robyn Bell: I am so happy to welcome back to the club. Our friends from the dingbat theater project who are in production of their latest musical, the SpongeBob musical showing December 3rd through December 19th at the bizarre on apricots and lime Brian Finnerty and Jamie Molina welcome to the club.
Brian Finnnerty: Hello.
Jamie Molina: Hey, thanks for having a,
Robyn Bell: I know you're in studio here on the state college of Florida campus. You got to see our new addition to the wing.
Brian Finnnerty: It's beautiful.
Robyn Bell: It's very impressive. . It's helped our music program tremendously this academic school year with all the things we've been able to do. And there's gotta be some way I've keep thinking to get you. People to come speak to our music majors about here's how we started our own theater company. You know, I think there's some connection we can make there. So Brian, you are a seasoned guest on the podcast, but Jamie, this is your first time joining us. So let's start with you. Tell us a little bit about yourself your
Jamie Molina: Okay, so I'm originally from Austin, Texas
Robyn Bell: Amarillo, texas. Oh, that's here for Texas. Austin is kind of its own country though. Within the state of Texas,
Jamie Molina: call it the island of blue in the sea of red?
Robyn Bell: Yes, it is true.
Jamie Molina: Hippy central.
Robyn Bell: You grew up there like your whole upbringing.
Jamie Molina: Now my whole upbringing, it was just, I always say that location because it's sort of the easy answer. I moved around a lot. I was born in Texas. I lived in Pittsburgh for four years and I feel like that's sort of where. My love for the arts was instilled because my mom would take me to all the Carnegie museums and the arts programs, like the first musical I ever saw when I was a kid was little shop of horrors.
Robyn Bell: Oh, wow. That's a, that's a an indoctrine right there.
Jamie Molina: Oh yeah. I was like four. Loved it. And then, yeah, we moved back down to Texas and I went to school in Austin for high school. And
Robyn Bell: which high school do you go to?
Jamie Molina: I went to St. Stephens. It's in a neighborhood called Westlake, and I actually went to boarding school because my family had moved to Beaumont, Texas, which if you've seen Footloose. Yeah. So that being said, there was no fine arts program at the high schools there. And I could not live without theater. Like it, I was such a quiet kid and like would be, bring a book with me everywhere. I did not have a lot of friends as a child. So when I began theater in middle school, it really taught me. Like I can speak out. I can find my own voice.
Robyn Bell: Gave you your voice.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. I wouldn't have even done theater. I had to do it for like a girl scout theater badge.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. It's like in the name of play. I can be who I want to be and connect with other people. That's really what it's all about.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. And it, it made me feel good about me. Like it was the only time I felt good about like confident. In myself. So I made the decision. I said to my parents, please, I can't go to school here. I, I don't think I can find the person who I need to be. So I say I'm from Austin because that's really where my formative years of my personality started developing and where. For my own opinions on things and my own viewpoints and decided I wanted to pursue a career in the finance.
Robyn Bell: All right, let me stop you there. At what age, or was there kind of a, a moment where you were maybe onstage or something new go I need or have to, or can I do this for a living?
Jamie Molina: Oh my gosh, that is such a hard question. Honestly, this story will continue because my opinion from being a 16 year old. Tiled really. Right. And making that decision has changed and evolved so much because now I'm going to turn 26, like next month. And so 10 years have passed and, well, it's just, it's really hard to make a decision like that when you're so young, you can't look forward in the future and envision that for yourself because you don't really have the adult experience. To see how it's really going to play out. I know for me, I kind of, this is a terrible answer, but I kind of felt like that was the only thing I could do, because like I said, that was what I felt most confident in. So when you're 17 and applying for schools and colleges and you're thinking, okay, do I want to be a doctor? Do I want to do something like very generic marketing or, or I don't know, liberal arts degree. I don't know what I want to do. Who am I going to be? I just went at theaters. What I know.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. And so looking at colleges coming out of Austin, Texas, where did you end up going?
Jamie Molina: I ended up going to Emerson college and Boston for their BFA musical theater program.
Robyn Bell: Very nice. And that's a long Trek. Yeah. Well, I went to Boston university, so yeah, we're kind of. Temporary Bostonians.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. Fi has a great program.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. Yeah. College of fine arts is amazing.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. So I just kind of, I followed the trail that was sort of led out for me because everyone that I went to school with. Cause I ha I can't ignore privilege here. I did go to a boarding school. Right. Everyone went to college and everyone. Followed the path like it's a game of life.
Robyn Bell: And so at Emerson college, You had some really unique experiences there, I'm sure. Cause that's a smaller college. So you, you, all of a sudden, maybe you're starring in a musical, whereas if you'd been to a really big college, you might not have had that experience,
Jamie Molina: you know, actually very interesting to point out.
But I kind of had the opposite. Okay. So I had a lot of success in high school. I mean, it's high school, but I was always a lead in high school and I sort of was this. Big fish in a small pond. I had one the state of Texas for the Jimmy awards. So I felt like I was on top of the world. And then I get to the college and the program itself is great. It's a smaller conservatory program and my class only had 18 kids. We were actually the first class to not have a cut program, which I thought. Personally, it was very toxic. What they would do is they would admit like 30 kids. And then after two years you have to re audition and you could be cut.
Robyn Bell: Oh, wow.
Jamie Molina: So they decided that's probably not the best thing to do.
Robyn Bell: I mean, you spend all that money for your first two years of college, like Nope.
Jamie Molina: But I feel like even though I was the first class to not go through that. It alluded to deeper problems that, and this is going back to what I mentioned earlier about making a decision for your life when you're 16, versus when you're older and have more real life experience under your belt. I started coming to terms with problems that I had with the theater industry itself. So I really enjoyed my time at Emerson. I made great friends who are all working successfully now. Great programs. But I didn't get cast a lot. I had problems, personal problems in my life. I was dealing with like an eating disorder, which is common for theater, especially for women. But it happens to men too,
Robyn Bell: to look a certain way. And you got to fit into that outfit
Jamie Molina: because they're prepping you for Broadway, you know, like that. And that's the whole goal is they're like, you need to go to Broadway. Like, that's the ultimate goal, but that's in
Robyn Bell: setting you up for failure.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. it makes you feel like, well, what if I'm content doing repertory theater or making my own new theater company or creating my own art? Is that just not deemed good enough at that point? Like, so I, I left a bit jaded because I wanted to make it professionally. I left with gigs booked, but I just still was kind of grappling. Okay. Is the experience I had at college is this going to be the norm? Is this because I'm not a really, I don't have a type. I'm not an ingenue. I'm not, I'm not even really a character actor strictly. I kind of just. I do my own thing. I'm hard to categorize. So it was really
Robyn Bell: all, she does a Jill of all trades.
Jamie Molina: I don't like being pinned down.
Robyn Bell: So when you left Emerson, what did you do?
Jamie Molina: I actually after graduation an hour after graduation hopped on a plane to Cedar point. And that was my first gig was I just worked there for the summer. At Cedar point in Ohio, I was Les de Lil and lusty Little's French review.
Brian Finnnerty: You were to leave.
Jamie Molina: Midway through the contract. I broke my foot.
Robyn Bell: Oh yeah. You get put on the injured reserve list.
Jamie Molina: I know. And you've broken your foot multiple times, Brian.
Robyn Bell: I think it's got to be careful. This theater stuff's dangerous. I've never broken my foot conducting. I'm just saying.
Brian Finnnerty: Let's do that. We'll switch.
Jamie Molina: I wasn't even doing the show when I broke my foot. So embarrassing. I like slipped on a rug. Yeah.
Brian Finnnerty: Never a cool story. I broke mine doing jumping jacks one time and then one time standing up and then I just heard it the other day in rehearsal doing a conga line. Yeah. So that's wrapped up now. It's getting better, but nothing cool. Never a cool story. It's always something super silly.
Robyn Bell: Like shark bite.
Jamie Molina: Just think I wish it wasn't shark bite.
Robyn Bell: Okay. So give me the path from Ohio then to Florida?
Jamie Molina: Yes. So thank you for keeping me grounded. I will just spin in circles.
Robyn Bell: That's what this podcast is about.
Jamie Molina: So I broke my foot awful. that was the moment. I was like 22 years old. And you were. Confronted with your mortality.
Robyn Bell: Tony
Jamie Molina: is like, I was I'm sorry. I was such like a carefree spirit person, like all throughout my life, like super lucky, like would be in dangerous positions or would do careless impulsive things and just, it always turned out. Okay. So that moment I was like, oh gosh. I could never perform again. I could never dance again. Like if I was in the medieval times, they
Robyn Bell: Yeah.
Jamie Molina: So my mom, God bless her. She took care of me. I was bedridden for a month. I had to get surgery. And I had had another contract lined up starting in September. So I had to like heal really quickly because if my foot didn't heal in time, I couldn't do my gig. And I did thankfully heal on time. And I came to Sarasota to work at Florida studio theater.
Robyn Bell: Yes. We're very familiar with FST.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. So I was an acting apprentice there for their 20 18 20 19 season. And honestly, F S T kind of shaped and solidified my opinion of theater. So
Robyn Bell: it was kind of where you felt home after graduating Emerson, where you maybe didn't feel at home or their expectations of what home would look like for you. You found that at FST.
Jamie Molina: Yeah, it was the real-world experience that I had been looking for. And. Just like I said, whether it's positive or negative, I learned truly the ins and outs of what professional theater is like and the friends I made there, I still talk to every day, like if we really bonded well, and it taught me that That's hard work. And even when you're consistently booked and blessed and you're posting all over social media, it's still grueling. And sometimes the choices you have to make, don't always have to equate for glory or money. You have to make the choices that are also going to feed your soul and. Sometimes it's not worth it to do certain shows if it pushes you past your limits and that's okay. Like,
Robyn Bell: You just came here maybe temporarily to do the show at FST. Like all of us fell in love with Sarasota, Bradenton, the Suncoast, and you here you are. Yeah. So I at least, I guess, I guess four years, if you were about to be 26 and you were 22.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. So, oh, it gets you more complicated. I went on for FST, all that good jazz. I'm ended up meeting my partner too while I was down here for the contract. Cause it was a nine month contract. So I just decided do I want to move to New York or LA or Chicago where a bunch of my friends are where a bunch of people are trying to make it work or do I just want to stay here and try to be that big fish in a small pond again, so to speak. Cause I saw that. There's so much art in Florida. You got cruise lines, you got amusement parts. There's actually a film scene here. Cause it's so close to Atlanta. Blots of repertory theaters. Why would I go to New York? And the work is here. The work is here and all my friends that were booking stuff in New York, we're coming down here
Robyn Bell: and it never snows here.
Jamie Molina: It never snows here. So you don't have to deal with your voice fluctuating or anything.
Robyn Bell: We're coats.
Jamie Molina: Yeah.
Robyn Bell: Or DS or toboggans, which I've always thought was a hat. But, so my says, no, it's a sled, so I don't know. Maybe. Well, I could, that's the right answer. You could wear it on your head. Toboggan. What do you call? What else do you call them? I've always called them toboggan.
Brian Finnnerty: Like a beanie.
Robyn Bell: Okay. A beanie. Yes. Whatever. But I don't own any now cause they live in Florida. Okay. And so tell me where along the way Jamie, did you meet Mr. Brian?
Jamie Molina: Oh, that's actually,
Robyn Bell: maybe, maybe Brian should tell that story.
Brian Finnnerty: You start it because it's my memory. I remember. Wasn't it. The promo shoot for,
Jamie Molina: yeah, no, that's what I was going to say. So I, I, I left FST and I was doing so many shows all the time that my one day off was a Monday, because
Robyn Bell: Monday is dark
Jamie Molina: and I, I just. I don't like self-tapes either I prefer going in person. Cause I feel like energies.
Robyn Bell: Oh sure.
Jamie Molina: Very important. And I didn't have any gigs lined up. I just took the summer off because of that. I just decided because why not players was doing Joseph and the amazing Technicolor dream coat. I
Robyn Bell: great show.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. I always wanted to do it. So I. How with it let's let's go. And that's how I started meeting Brian.
Robyn Bell: Now I'm thinking of your four years here, half of that has been through the pandemic and thing that kind of happened during the pandemic. So that was the perfect time when things were crazy to sort of organize this new theater company. Right. Have you been on board from the start with.
Jamie Molina: I mean,
Brian Finnnerty: I mean, we had our Christmas show, but then right after that we did Shrek and Gingy and young Fiona and stuff. So yeah, pretty much
Jamie Molina: just from the beginning. And then I did walk, also do film acting. So, and that actually for any actors out there, please get into film. Please get into commercial. They will pay you so well, but that's basically what I did through the pandemic was all the theaters dried up. So I got a film agent and I did, I shot three commercials over the pandemic. One with universal studios for Halloween horror nights. And then I did two for it's called cozy house collection. They're based in Clearwater, it was do like sheets and stuff. And then luckily I was able to do. A show of a Avita at Fort Myer symphony. And that was cool because the cast members had Broadway credits. So, and one of them are EVAs and Haiti's town right now. And I'm just like, what the heck?
Robyn Bell: Okay. Where did yo guys at the players, the players at the full use of the photo shoot,
Brian Finnnerty: because she was playing the narrator
Robyn Bell: and Joseph. Okay.
Brian Finnnerty: Really? We did a lot of crossing each other in the halls and stuff like that. And we did cause you would be there for rehearsal and I'd be leaving work.
Jamie Molina: And then also. On a grander scale, the theater community itself? No, because all the theaters here really overlap in some way between Venice, Asolo, Urbanite, FST,
Robyn Bell: they all do. I mean, it's, there's multi work. Everybody be careful. You never know who your next boss or, or
Jamie Molina: literally even like the quote unquote new people in the SpongeBob cast I had seen perform right. Like following on social media or something.
Robyn Bell: Well, okay. So let's talk about that because Brian and Jamie, you are here because Brian, you are directing SpongeBob and Jamie, you are SpongeBob.
Jamie Molina: Brian's also choreographing it.
Brian Finnnerty: And Luke and I are co-direct
Robyn Bell: well, this is what dingbat, theater's all about. You know, there's people playing multiple roles, but, but Jamie, your SpongeBob.
Jamie Molina: Yeah.
Robyn Bell: Did they make you audition for this?
Jamie Molina: Yeah, I do.
Robyn Bell: Okay.
Jamie Molina: Fair and square.
Robyn Bell: So Brian, tell me directing choreographing. You're in the show. Jamie SpongeBob, who else makes up your cast for this show?
Brian Finnnerty: So Jamie's SpongeBob, Luke who? Yes, like factory. It's Patrick. No wailea.
Robyn Bell: I'm going to call him Patrick. McFetridge
Brian Finnnerty: that's perfect. We should
Jamie Molina: play this.
Brian Finnnerty: No Ellia Altamirano plays Sandy cheeks.
Jamie Molina: She's awesome. You've seen her perform before.
Robyn Bell: I don't think so, but I'm going to
Jamie Molina: Orlando.
Brian Finnnerty: Her voice is crazy. Amanda Hi-C plays Squidward.
Robyn Bell: Yes.
Brian Finnnerty: I played Mr. Crab.
Robyn Bell: Perfect.
Brian Finnnerty: Kylie Berkery plays Pearl crabs.
Jamie Molina: Oh, her voice is crazy too.
Brian Finnnerty: God, there's just, everybody's sings. Just crazy. It's really good time. And then hunter day is plankton.
Jamie Molina: His wife, his computer wife,
Brian Finnnerty: Zoe Smith. Her character's name is Karen.
Robyn Bell: Okay. That's the only like real normal name.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. That is the only
Brian Finnnerty: Karen.
Robyn Bell: Karen, karen only in SpongeBob.
Brian Finnnerty: Right? Exactly. Exactly.
Jamie Molina: And then we have Austin Howard with who he performs at FST too. He plays a multitude of roles,
Brian Finnnerty: the most roles in the show.
Jamie Molina: It's so funny. He will flip back and forth.
Brian Finnnerty: Yeah, his main three roles are Larry, the lobster old man Jenkins and miss puff.
Robyn Bell: Well, you know, I was thinking about this because with Shrek, you, you did a. Piece really need 30 people for Shrek. And you did it with nine or 11, something crazy and average play multiple roles.
Brian Finnnerty: I forgot. We forgot to visa strong. She plays the mayor and she's insane and never forget Corey Wilmer who plays patchy. The pirate in perch Burkins
Jamie Molina: might be my favorite
Brian Finnnerty: out of, just in general.
Jamie Molina: Well, you'll see. It's so funny. Yeah.
Robyn Bell: And so this show you have enough people to cover. The only the one person is doing multiple roles.
Brian Finnnerty: We all do multiple roles. So like we also play sardines and enemies. There's some like rock and roll stars that come in, that some people play there's like, we all play multiple things.
Jamie Molina: Even I play
Brian Finnnerty: like, even you're a pirate at some point. Yeah. Spoiler alert
Jamie Molina: boiler. , and like full circle back to what I said earlier. That's what I love so much about dingbat is that it breaks the traditional norms of theater.
Robyn Bell: Totally.
Jamie Molina: I had like, sort of my up and down rollercoaster experience, trying to make it like, like doing the repertory gigs or the tours I did. And there was always something that felt kind of off and. I found my answer in dingbat because
Robyn Bell: nothing's off, even though it's called dingbat, nothing's off,
Brian Finnnerty: it's all off. Nothing is odd.
Jamie Molina: Gender is not an issue.
Brian Finnnerty: Size
Jamie Molina: size is not
Brian Finnnerty: like anybody can be any. You're nice. As long as it's appropriate to the story. Of course.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. Well, tell me about the story of SpongeBob. The musical. Is this, is that what it's called?
Brian Finnnerty: It's called the SpongeBob music.
Robyn Bell: That's what I thought, because I always want to call it SpongeBob square pants, musical, but it's
Brian Finnnerty: we had to have a drill last night of how to properly say the name of the show.
Robyn Bell: SpongeBob, the musical
Brian Finnnerty: SpongeBob,
Robyn Bell: SpongeBob musical. All right. Tell me. Tell me, is this about Nazi Germany, world war II?
Brian Finnnerty: Exactly. All of those really, really fun things. No, it takes place in bikini bottom, just like the cartoon. It has all the lovable characters that many people know and love. And it's basically that a volcano is about to erupt over bikini bottom. Right. The end is coming, the world is ending. So
Robyn Bell: I know that feeling. Yeah.
Brian Finnnerty: Yeah, which we can all kind of relate to and just kind of how they deal with that. So SpongeBob, you know, is gonna try to save the Disney,
Robyn Bell: the hero,
Brian Finnnerty: his buds,
Robyn Bell: or she's the hero, right? It's SpongeBob kind of non-gender,
Jamie Molina: it's a sponge,
Brian Finnnerty: it's a sponge.
Jamie Molina: It's fine. Sometimes I say he, sometimes I say bay, sometimes I say sheen. It really isn't.
Robyn Bell: It's a sponge. It's really an it. I know it is in it. Yeah. Okay. So speaking of SpongeBob being a sponge, talk to me about the costuming.
Jamie Molina: I love the costumes. You did them.
Brian Finnnerty: I mean, Luke and I. I worked a lot on the costumes, pulling some things, a lot of Goodwill trips. His mom is also helping us. Tanya helped a lot with our Shrek costumes. Luke's mom. So she'll be like shopping from where. What South Carolina? South Carolina. Yeah. It's I can't believe I forgot that, but she shops at all the Goodwills up there and then sends pictures down to Luke. So we have like a team.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. And then west coast just helped us out with giving us some of their costumes.
Brian Finnnerty: Yeah. For Shrek. Yeah. They helped. And then we got some stuff from players, stock and stuff like that too. So, you know, just like we
Robyn Bell: always do. More collaborations within our arts organizations. Yeah.
Brian Finnnerty: We're getting some pieces from badass. It's just get them.
Jamie Molina: Sarasota is very supportive. All the theaters have each other, which is nice.
Robyn Bell: It's wonderful. And they
Brian Finnnerty: all play rent as well, you know, utilize each other.
Robyn Bell: That's right. And there's enough work for everybody to go around and for everybody to be entertained.
Brian Finnnerty: Exactly.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. But back to the costumes, I know like some people have jokingly asked me, are you going to wear like a SpongeBob. But no, absolutely not. It's sort of like Shrek and that it's our take and our version of what we envisioned the characters to look like. And there's actually no, in the script at the very beginning saying these are inspired by the characters within the TV series, but these are not strictly those characters you do not have.
Robyn Bell: So that gives you some artistic leeway there.
Jamie Molina: Yeah.
Brian Finnnerty: Yeah. They want it to still come off real and authentic and not just. Ridiculous cartoon. So like Jamie looks like Jamie, but she has, you know, the square shorts and the tie and the shirt, you know, we've added a jacket and she wears like fun shoes and has clips and stuff and it looks all crazy.
Robyn Bell: We have a lot of wigs going on with this one.
Brian Finnnerty: We do not because we all have to play so many characters that we don't really have time. So we're all going to kind of have a base hair with something fun. We're doing a lot. We're doing a recycling drive for the. So everything, not everything, but the majority of the set and costumes are going to be made from recycled materials. We're also going to do a beach cleanup day where we can kind of do that kind of thing to bring it all together.
Robyn Bell: Well, tell me more about the set of course we're at the, okay. Let me ask you this actually, because we're at the Bazaar on Africa in line, but I saw on your website, there's a portion of the show will be performed outside. And so I want to talk about that within. Set discussion. So tell me about how's this all going to work?
Brian Finnnerty: So Rachel Knowles is incredibly talented. She's helping us with a lot of that stuff. She's pretty much just designing the set. We're pretty much just like here you do this. You're really good. So it's going to have some influence with the cartoon, you know, the classic flowers and like, under sea life it's type stuff all made from recyclable materials. So like we'll have coral that's made out of recycled cans and stuff like that. Of course, painted over and made to look decent, not just like trash, but nice. That's kind of the vibe inside, outside as you walk in, you're going to be actually walking through our dressing space. So since we're performing inside that room, our dressing space is outside of that room, which is where you happen to walk through. Into the theater. So you're going to be walking through our dressing space, seeing all of our costumes, all of our props, just like how you could with Shrek. You could see everything, you can see the behind the scenes. You get to kind of do the same thing here.
Robyn Bell: The performance is going to be in the same space that Hedvig was in and that in the. Hamlet's eatery kind of rooms, indoor dining hall, I guess, is what it's called. Yeah, that's really cool. And is it going to be the, sort of the same setup where there's a stage at the front and
Brian Finnnerty: not at all? So, you know, those two garage doors that we used in Hedwig, you enter through those and you keep on. To that back wall. So those garage doors are our playing space. I use those both as entrances, so they'll stay open. Okay. Yeah. So they stay open during the show. We have the audience on that long wall and then on the sidewalls as well. So we're able to. Everybody and our whole cast,
Robyn Bell: are you anticipating having the food truck back?
Brian Finnnerty: The food truck will be open on select dates. Then we'll be sending out emails to anybody who gets tickets with,
Robyn Bell: and while you have a special SpongeBob drink, it's gotta be yellow, blue.
Brian Finnnerty: We have to talk to Kim
Jamie Molina: about that.
Brian Finnnerty: Ooh. Yeah, I know that she, bought spoiler alert, again, little pineapple cups, so I'm sure she's got something up her sleeve.
Jamie Molina: That'd be cool. Yeah.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. That's one of the really cool things I'd come into your shows is there's a specialty drink. And then, you know, when we came to see Shrek, I'm going to tell you, I didn't know what to expect from Hamlet's eatery. It's the best burger I've it was the blue cheeseburger, I think, or something like that. I was like, please can I have more? So,
Brian Finnnerty: yeah. And it's cool too, because for every, you know, traditional menu option, they have a vegan option as well.
Jamie Molina: That's
Robyn Bell: not yet. Yeah, I don't take that option, but I know it's there.
Brian Finnnerty: Some people want to,
Robyn Bell: well, listen, if you're vegan, can you eat animal crackers?
Brian Finnnerty: I don't know. Can you, Jamie? I know, but weren't you, at one point I I'm,
Jamie Molina: I'm vegan a lot of the time. It's just cause I like, I don't love me.
Robyn Bell: I always asked my vegetarian friends.
Can you eat animal crackers? Cause that would just be not right.
Jamie Molina: I do know Oreos are vegan.
Robyn Bell: Oh, it didn't know this
Jamie Molina: weird. It's like, what's it made of, then I'll leave.
Brian Finnnerty: I don't think anybody knows what Oreos are made of.
Robyn Bell: I don't want to know. I know what they do to me. No, I'm just kidding. All right. Tell us about the rest of the team. So we have. A lighting designer and what else is going on with all this?
Brian Finnnerty: So, Sophia Cacia is doing our projections and she did them for Hedwig as well on the screen. And she's incredible. She goes to Carnegie Mellon, and then a friend of hers, Logan, who also goes to Carnegie Mellon will be coming down to do our lights for us.
Robyn Bell: Nice.
Brian Finnnerty: So that happens to work out over there when their Thanksgiving break is. So there'll be coming into tech and do all that fun stuff. And I'm really excited to have.
Robyn Bell: What about sound? Will you guys be more.
Brian Finnnerty: Go ahead, Jamie.
Jamie Molina: So, because I was about to say we left out Gretchen.
Brian Finnnerty: Well, yes,
Jamie Molina: true.
Brian Finnnerty: Can't forget. Gretchen's amazing.
Jamie Molina: But she ties into sound. So our stage manager, Gretchen Gretchen his last name, gretchen B.
Brian Finnnerty: Okay,
Jamie Molina: just keep going. Okay. So, because we are in the industry. And it's going to be a fully immersive experience because we're similar to Hedwig. We're going to decorate it entirely.
Robyn Bell: We're going to all feel like we're on the island or
Jamie Molina: exactly. We're
Brian Finnnerty: all in this together. You're a resident of bikini bottom,
Jamie Molina: but because it's a smaller space, it is a larger cast than Hedwig, of course, because that was only two people just as 11 people. And we're going to be utilizing the space a lot. We're going to be running around the audience. Hectic like the cartoon, right? We are not using a band, a live band because we chose that the physicality of the show needs to come first. And also we're using tracks because. A lot of the sound is like pop influenced or uses very specific instruments that just couldn't be replicated through live bank
Robyn Bell: can have steel drums in there and
Jamie Molina: totally need like what, like a 17
Brian Finnnerty: hour, half the cast out, half the audience.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. And, and very, very smart to use tracks in this case.
Jamie Molina: Yeah. So Gretchen is not only our stage manager. She's our Maestro.
Robyn Bell: So she's running the machine.
Brian Finnnerty: We get to talk to her throughout the show. Black player song
Robyn Bell: hit it. Gretchen. All right. Well, tell me about the music ranges from like you were saying, if there was some pop stuff, there's some island type songs. What is some of the favorite songs with like when you wake up in the morning, what's going through
Brian Finnnerty: all the songs are written by different artists, which is really fun too. So it's just like a jumble collage of, yeah,
Jamie Molina: it's all original too. So it's not a jukebox musical. Written for the show. There's David Bowie wrote a song that was actually his last credited song before he passed away. Cindy lopper, we have what?
Brian Finnnerty: Plain white T's or Barenaked ladies.
Robyn Bell: Oh, I get those bans. I get those confused all the time too.
Jamie Molina: I don't know. But I do know panic at the disco did one lady antebellum, John legend.
Robyn Bell: If, bare naked ladies would just wear the plain white T's, we would solve that problem.
Jamie Molina: I know, but then they wouldn't. Bare and naked.
Brian Finnnerty: That's true. But that would be a
Jamie Molina: problem. You ladies.
Robyn Bell: Okay. Well, what's your favorite song?
Brian Finnnerty: Ooh, I really like simple sponge,
Robyn Bell: simple sponge
Brian Finnnerty: panic at the disco. Isn't it?
Jamie Molina: Yeah, it is. All right. A lot of good power ballad.
Robyn Bell: What is it?
Brian Finnnerty: It's Jamie's big. I got this. I can do anything
Jamie Molina: like I'm going to prove you wrong, Mr. Crab. I manage your material and I'm going to say a song about love that it's literally called just a simple sponge. It's my favorite song. I mean, the song I woke up today, like in my head was best day ever.
Robyn Bell: Okay. Because don't you find that when you're in a show, like we just finished this Elvis show with my pops orchestra was Sergeant Presley in the pops and I can not. Stop singing code and a trap. I can walk out. I just can't stop. It doesn't matter what I'm doing in the middle of day. I still got suspicious minds going through my head. Same thing when you're running a musical. Right. You get those ear worms,
Jamie Molina: all the music
Brian Finnnerty: music is good. Yeah. Yeah. I was like, I mean, when I first not going, gonna lie when I was like, when they first created the SpongeBob musical, I was kinda like, Hmm.
Jamie Molina: I was skeptical. I was
Brian Finnnerty: bizarre. And then. I listened to it. And I was like, this has no right being as good as it is musical. He was like, really good.
Jamie Molina: It's in the same category as legally blonde for me where you're like, oh, okay, you're blind. But then you listen to it. You're like it is legitimately well, orchestra music.
Robyn Bell: So very family friendly show, as you know, as opposed to Hedvig. This is the other thing I love about dingbat is there's a lot of variety in the shows that you present, you know, from one to two to three and a. So what are going to be the cost of tickets?
Brian Finnnerty: Tickets range from $15 to $30. Okay. We have a beach chair section, which you get a little bit of. Unobstructed view. We're kind of shifting that around, so it's not as obstructed, but they are cheaper seats. So kind of a get what you pay for thing but affordable. And then our other tickets are $30 in their general admission. And we're sitting about 60 people in there, so it is very,
it is limited,
Jamie Molina: smaller, intimate, like an exclusive bikini bought a club.
Brian Finnnerty: You know what? I just notice
Jamie Molina: what.
Brian Finnnerty: Five teachers in our show, which is super cool too, because the students can come see their teachers perform on stage.
Robyn Bell: Is there a student price or there's just there the $15. Yeah.
Brian Finnnerty: Yeah. Okay. So like, let me think, like we have Austin, there's a teacher hunter, Amanda, Luke, me, Jimmy saw
Robyn Bell: it works.
Brian Finnnerty: That's great. Yeah. Yeah. That's crazy.
Jamie Molina: I don't have the patience.
Brian Finnnerty: I never noticed that. But yeah,
Robyn Bell: the teachers don't have patients. They have students, doctors have patients. Sorry, that just popped in my head.
Brian Finnnerty: Good job. That was good. Yeah.
Jamie Molina: I don't know how y'all go a whole day, like teaching and you come because they
Brian Finnnerty: caffeine.
Robyn Bell: Yeah, it takes a lot out of you, especially right now, this pandemic teaching and coming out of the pandemic, teachers heard
Brian Finnnerty: very hard and the kids were just, you know, home for a whole year and now they're back out in the world and they're like, and I'm like, I get it.
Jamie Molina: Holidays are coming up too. So I think time.
Robyn Bell: So tell me how many actual performances we know. It's December 3rd. Through 19th, but it's kind of on the weekends. How many actual performances are there?
Brian Finnnerty: Friday? Saturday, Sunday, each week. Okay.
Robyn Bell: So 12, 12 performances. Yeah, really cool. And matinees on Sunday.
Brian Finnnerty: That's right. Two dirty. So right after I believe they're going to be having jazz brunch. They usually do a nice jazz brunch when it gets nice. I like this. Yeah, I hope.
Robyn Bell: And what is your. What are your, so speaking of pandemic, what are your COVID policies for this?
Brian Finnnerty: Sure. So we're following the safe art Sarasota protocols. So
Robyn Bell: if I come, I need to show them a vaccination card.
Brian Finnnerty: Exactly. So, yeah, so we're not requiring a vaccination card. We are requiring a negative COVID test. And if you don't want to do that and you have a vaccination card, you can show that instead. And then you have to wear a mask during the. Okay. Yeah. And hopefully that doesn't matter last too much longer.
Robyn Bell: It's really
Brian Finnnerty: not too bad. I mean, yeah. As long as I am keeping everybody safe as the main priority, so yeah.
Robyn Bell: So after SpongeBob you've now had, this is your fourth production for dingbat. Where do you go from here, Brian?
Brian Finnnerty: Well, we have, okay. So Luke and I just constantly have like a hundred ideas. And then we just kinda sit on them and think about them for way too long. And then finally decide on something. So like, I could answer you, but then we would be sitting here for like an hour and a half with me just listing all these
Jamie Molina: options. Yeah. So, and then also y'all do stuff. They don't only do dingbat. They're always doing
Brian Finnnerty: our full-time jobs or other theaters in the area.
Robyn Bell: They have real jobs
Brian Finnnerty: that are side gig,
Jamie Molina: choreographing, beauty, and the beast. Like what, like during this, like during the show.
Brian Finnnerty: So actually as soon as we close, as soon as you click early January, we jump into rehearsals for beauty and the beast of Venice.
Jamie Molina: I actually live in Denver now,
Robyn Bell: really? You've moved to denver
Brian Finnnerty: right before the show started.
Jamie Molina: So I'm down here just for the show. Cause I have to go back. Cause I have rehearsals for a show in Denver, starting January,
Robyn Bell: you're leaving the sun coast. You've left the sign out,
Jamie Molina: but I just, Denver's a cool demo. I'm excited, but full circle from earlier, I chose to come back because dingbat really. Encapsulates everything that I. Wish for theater to be.
Robyn Bell: Maybe it inspires you to start something like this in this concept and this approach and Denver,
Jamie Molina: I don't know if I'm not like them. I'll do it seriously. Gotta be dead.
Brian Finnnerty: Cause last time after rehearsal, we went over to Rachel's house until 2:30 and. Every costume, every prop, every set piece, just to make sure and listen, meet up. Who's doing what?
Robyn Bell: It's time and energy.
Jamie Molina: Really? It is passion.
Robyn Bell: Yes. I mean, this podcast is my pandemic project. It's not making any money. It's just, I love meeting you guys and talking to you about your shows. We, we make sure we share it so that a thousand people listen to it. I would appreciate this and all
Brian Finnnerty: the time. I love your podcast.
Robyn Bell: Well, some are better than others.
Brian Finnnerty: They can't all be winners. Hopefully this one's good.
Robyn Bell: This one's been great. It sounds like a wonderful production any way. So purchase tickets to this show running December 3rd through 19, can go to dingbat theater.org or get your tickets through the Suncoast culture clubs, calendar of events, page Brian and Jamie. Thank you so much for joining me today and sharing all the great news about dingbat theater's latest production. I'm looking forward to enjoying the show.
Brian Finnnerty: Thank you so much. It's a great time.
Jamie Molina: It was fun.