The Sponge Bob Musical

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Nickelodeon presents “The Sponge Bob Musical”SpongeBob_Key-Art_200x200

Based on the Series by Stephen Hillenburg

Book by Kyle Jarrow

Directed by Tina Landau

Hold on to your Kelp-uccino you have never experienced an under the sea adventure like this!

Chicago needs Bikini Bottom to escape from all the madness going on in this city.  Certainly it was an exciting underwater escapade to hang out with the incredible cast of “The Sponge Bob Musical”.  Entertaining, eccentric, electrifying and if I could give it a rating greater than highly recommended I would.  I say this because it is creative, fun, and even though we know Sponge Bob Square Pants to be the beloved children’s character, most of the audience members were adults escaping the stresses of everyday life if only for a couple of hours.

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My 9 year old daughter has watched Sponge Bob for about 5 years now and goes in and out of liking him. I think she is back to liking him now after seeing this outstanding production of “The Sponge Bob Musical”. From the moment you enter the theatre there is very fun and whimsical music playing on both sides of the stage getting the audience psyched up for the show. An overly anxious pirate, claiming to part of the show, runs up the stage with security chasing after him and shows him out of the theatre (this won’t be the last you see of him though). Bikini Bottom Day (Jonathon Coulton) starts the show off with a bang! Great energy from the company and a fantastic display of choreography (Christopher Gattelli).

Sponge Bob (Ethan Slater) is an endearing character with a less annoying voice than the original Sponge Bob. Though slightly insecure, he packs an innocent and optimistic view into his crabby patty daily! His buddy Patrick Star (Danny Skinner) is very funny and though full of good ideas doesn’t really show his ability to be a leader until he is discovered by an interesting group of followers. The BFF’s duet of BFF (Plain White T’s) is a great little number that I can see coming to 5th grade talent shows for years to come.

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So what would you do if there was only one day left to live and the world was going to be taken over by an unpredictable overflowing volcano? This is the premise of the show. There are scammers like Plankton (Nick Blaemire) who claims to want to save the world in order to make money. The hoarders of money like Mr. Krabs (Carlos Lopez) who thinks money is more important than family and tries to claw his way to the top (no pun intended-no yes it was). His daughter Pearl (Emmy Raver-Lampman) is always trying to get his attention without much success. However, when in sync, the two of them together can really belt out a tune Daddy Knows Best (Alex Ebert of Edward Share and the Magnetic Zeros).

Sandy Cheeks (Lilli Cooper) the super smart scientific squirrel devises a plan along with her buddies Sponge Bob and Patrick to stop this volcano which according to her, “… is as serious as a taco shortage in Texas.” The erupter interrupter is created and they are off to save the world!   In the interim, Patrick has a school of sardines that deem him to be a perspicacious leader, Super Sea Star Savior (Yolanda Adams) and brings the oceans to new depths with his words of wisdom-I believe!

There is a giant kinetic like “Mouse Trap” contraption that disperses giant pieces of the volcano (disguised as bright orange beach balls) to build up the intensity of the potential eruption throughout the show.

The incredible Squidward Tentacle (Gavin Lee) is SO not a LOSER as the kid’s in the 3rd grade called him, which has haunted him his entire life. Even though is philosophy of life is that of fear, suffering and despair, deep inside this show man he has a story to tell. He takes the house down in his show stopping, unforgettable I’m Not a Loser (They Might Be Giants).

Best Day Ever (Andy Paley and Tom Kenny) leads us to the happily ever after ending. And of course The Sponge Bob Theme Song (Derek Drymon, Mark Harrison, Stephen Hillenburg and Blaise Smith) ends the show with standing ovation!

There are so many great musical numbers in the show, to many to mention, written by talented artists including: David Bowie and Brian Eno, T.I., Panic! At the Disco, The Flaming Lips, Sara Bareilles, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Lady Antebellum, and John Legend.

The fabulous Lighting Design (Kevin Adams), Sound Design (Walter Trarbach), Scenic and Costume Design (David Zinn) all take center stage in this show. Magnificent Music Director (Julie McBride) doubles as a prop catcher throughout the show.

As Sponge Bob would say, “You’re is so worried about the future-you’re ruining now!” Shouldn’t we all think that way?

Highly Recommended

Sally Jo Osborne

Running time 2 hours 25 minutes with one intermission

Playing through July 10, at The Oriental Theatre 24 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL

For more information visit www.BroadwayinChicago.com, call 800-775-2000 or visit

www.theatreinchicago.com

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