Joey Votto Makes a Splash! 

By Kelly Holtgrefe

Cincinnati Reds First Baseman provides narration in The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of The SpongeBob Musical: Youth Edition this October 

Cincinnati – The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is thrilled to announce that Cincinnati Reds First Baseman Joey Votto will lend his voice to their upcoming production of THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION.  

Votto will be heard as the “French Narrator” in the show, introducing the audience to the world of Bikini Bottom. This marks the first time a Cincinnati Reds player has been featured in a The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati production. 

Votto is the National League’s 2010 Most Valuable Player and Hank Aaron Award winner, a 6-time NL All-Star, and a Sporting News NL All-Star. He is the only Reds first baseman ever to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award (2011) and Major League Baseball’s 2017 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award winner for exemplary contributions to his community. Votto received Most Valuable Player Award votes 8 times in the last 13 seasons and was voted 6 times by the Cincinnati chapter of the BBWAA the Ernie Lombardi Award as the Reds’ MVP. Joey Votto was born in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in the city of Etobicoke. He is fluent in French. 

“We are so thankful to Joey Votto and his team for being a part of the 23-24 TCT Season,” says TCT Managing Director and CEO Kim Kern. “Our audiences will enjoy hearing a Cincinnati icon bring this character to life.” 

Please note: Joey Votto will not appear live at the Taft Theatre. Only his voice recording is being used.  

23-24 MainStage Season opens with THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION at the Taft Theatre October 14-23, 2023. Tickets are on sale now at  

“TCT is making a splash with our season opener THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION! With songs from Cyndi Lauper to T.I. to Lady A, this musical brings to life the characters of Bikini Bottom. This show will have the whole family singing and dancing out of the theatre!” says Artistic Director, Roderick Justice. 

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION is a 60-minute musical adaptation based on the beloved animated series created by Stephen Hillenburg. Plunge into this stunning all-singing, all-dancing, dynamic stage show! When the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover that a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their humble home, SpongeBob and his friends must come together to save the fate of their undersea world. With lives hanging in the balance and all hope lost, a most unexpected hero rises up. The power of optimism really can save the world! 

Based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg. Book by Kyle Jarrow. Musical Production Conceived by Tina Landau. Original Songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady A, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I. And Songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny & Andy Paley. Additional Lyrics by Jonathan Coulton / Additional Music by Tom Kitt. Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants, and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. 

Stage Direction and Co-Choreography by Maddie Jones. Roderick Justice, Artistic Director and Co-Choreographer. Dani Lobello, Director of Production. Scenic Design by Nate Bertone. Sets and Props provided by Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. Lighting Design by Benjamin Gantose. Costume Design by Jeff Shearer. Music Direction by Jacob Priddy. Sound Production by Don Moore. Technical Direction by Ben Adams and Maggie Foley. Resident Stage Manager, Jadi Davis.  

Ideal for ages 4+. This production runs 60 minutes without an intermission. 


Saturday, October 14 at 2PM (ASL interpretation will be offered at this performance.) 

Saturday, October 14 at 5PM 

Sunday, October 15 at 2PM 

Friday, October 20 at 7PM 

Saturday, October 21 at 11AM  

Saturday, October 21 at 2PM 

Sunday, October 22 at 2PM 

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION is made possible by Dress Run Sponsor TriHealth, Production Sponsor The Summit Hotel, and Season Sponsor The Charles H. Dater Foundation. Additional funding for MainStage Ticket Subsidies is provided by PNC Foundation. The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is supported by the tens of thousands of people who give generously to the annual ArtsWave Campaign, the region’s primary source for arts funding. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. 

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s Broadway-style MainStage productions, including THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION, are performed in the historic Taft Theatre, 5th and Sycamore Streets in Downtown Cincinnati. Tickets start at $10. Visit or call the TCT Box Office at 513.569.8080 x10, Monday – Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM to purchase tickets.  

The sensory-friendly performance of THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION on Wednesday, October 18 at 1 PM is intended for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as children (and adults) with other special needs who may benefit. To create a sensory-friendly performance, the show is performed in a welcoming, supportive environment for those with sensory challenges. Slight adjustments to lighting and sound are made, and effects such as fog, strobes, and lights that extend into the audience are minimalized. A downloadable Social Narrative (in Word format) is made available on the TCT website one week before the performance. At the theater, TCT provides an area staffed by specialists in the field where patrons can take a break from the performance if necessary, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has trained staff on hand.   

For details about how to purchase tickets to TCT’s Sensory-Friendly performances, visit

CAST (In Alphabetical Order) 



BRAXTON BELL…. Electric Skate/Ensemble 

RHYS BOATWRIGHT……. Live Foley Artist 



KRISTEN DAS …. Pearl Krabs  

IAN TIMOTHY FORSGREN…. Electric Skate/Ensemble 

JOSH GALLOWAY…. SpongeBob SquarePants 


ALEC HARRISON……Perch Perkins 


BOB HERZOG…. Sheldon J. Plankton 


HENRY HOWLAND…. Squidward Tentacles 

BRANDI LA’SHERRILL…. Mayor of Bikini Bottom 

*ELLI MADDOCK…. Ensemble 

AARON MARSHALL…. Patrick Star 


*KIP RICHARDSON…. Ensemble Swing 



KATE STARK…. Ensemble 



JOEY VOTTO… French Narrator 

JORDAN WARD…. Ensemble 


For Perch and Plankton: Jude Abella; for Patrick and Mr. Krabs: Braxton Bell; for SpongeBob: Ian Timothy Forsgren; for Mayor: Emily Hilbrecht; for Sandy: Elli Maddock; for Pearl Krabs and Karen: Elexis Selmon; for Squidward: Collin Brogan Stinnett 

*Denotes TCT’s Young Artists Company 

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.  


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