WPPB

"SpongeBob SquarePants," Reviewed by David Richardson, Theatre Critic

Dec 5, 2017

One of the silliest and dumbest of any shows that has ever hit Broadway opened last night at the Palace Theater. The backers, producers and the performers involved in "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical" should all start looking for something else to do. Except for some music from the likes of Aerosmith, John Legend, Panic and Cyndi Lauper and a couple of performers doing their best to play underwater creatures like starfishes, squids, and a sponge, there is little attraction for anyone except maybe the 8 to 10 age group. The ones I saw, and there were many, looked pretty bored too!

 

SpongeBob and all his friends have been on TV’s Nickelodeon for 18 years, and while I have never seen it (and never will), it must be doing something right which I guess is why the insane producers tried to bring it to Broadway. They have turned the theater into Bikini Bottom which is where  Bob lives and have decorated it with every possible fishy type stuff that you could imagine. They even try the confetti trick  (blowing bubbles over the audience at the end), not to mention some take-home bouncing balls and every inch is covered with multi-colored crap.

 

Now there is a storyline which concerns the possibility of an underwater volcano erupting and killing everything, but that’s it. No love affair, no real comedy and otherwise no nothing.

 

To be fair, several of the participants in this mess are quite good. Ethan Slater has the unenviable job of playing the lead and believe me he works hard and even does some life-threatening moves. Lilli Cooper playing Sandy Cheeks has some good songs to sing and belt (music is the best part of this disaster), but it is Gavin Lee who was once in "Les Mis" who steals the show and my heart as Squidward Q Tentacles who plays the part while manipulating and using four legs. There’s a huge cast away from that trio, but it would be hard to single out anyone else unless of course a well assembled and dressed starfish chorus line which was fun to watch.

 

SpongeBob SquarePants was designed for kids. Kids not too young and probably not too old. I don’t think anyone else should be caught dead watching this ocean of trash.