While Morgan Blanchard was growing up in Portsmouth, N.H., he and his family would drive to Boston to attend theater productions in Boston. “The first musical I ever saw was at the Wang. It was ‘Cats,’ ” recalled Blanchard (who plays Patchy the Pirate in “The SpongeBob Musical,” coming to the Boch Center Wang Theatre Oct. 15-27) in a recent phone interview. “It was so magical to be this young kid seeing these shows, and now I get to be the person I was looking up to at that time. It’s nice to hopefully be [performing at] someone’s first musical -- and I’m assuming with ‘SpongeBob’ that there will be a lot of new audiences.” Blanchard was quick to point out that the Tony-nominated show, based on the beloved animated series on Nickelodeon, is not just for kids. “The show has an incredibly relevant and important message that I think a lot of people need to hear -- especially now -- about community and coming together and celebrating each other and all of our differences,” he said. In addition to seeing family and friends when the national tour lands in Boston, Blanchard said he is most excited about “sleeping in my own bed” at his parents’ home in Portsmouth. “I live out of a suitcase, so it will be nice to be home,” said Blanchard, who graduated from Ithaca College last year and immediately joined the national tour of “The Sound of Music” before joining the cast of “The SpongeBob Musical.“ We caught up with the 23-year-old actor to talk about all things travel.
Favorite vacation destination?
London – no question. While in college, I studied abroad in London for four months and it was a pivotal moment for my personal growth. The city’s history, parks, and commitment to the arts offer a myriad of activities to explore.
Favorite food or drink while vacationing?
Wine. Always wine. And of course any sort of delicacy from the place I’m visiting. I love trying new things.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t?
Italy. It’s where my family is from, and who doesn’t love Italian food?
One item you can’t leave home without when traveling?
A journal. I always make sure to travel with a journal so I can keep track of my entire trip and look back on the memories.
Aisle or window?
Window – so I can look out and see my destination from above.
Favorite childhood travel memory?
My mother works for a travel agency so we would travel constantly as a kid. But my favorite memory has to be my trip to Japan with a student ambassador group when I was in middle school. It was a complete culture shock . . . and such a beautiful country.
Guilty pleasure when traveling?
Farmers’ markets. I always make sure to find the local farmers’ markets in each destination. Local markets can tell you so much about a city and those who inhabit it. And the food is cheap.
Best travel tip?
Try traveling alone. You’ll get to do exactly what you want and hopefully make some friends along the way. And always strike up conversations with strangers.