REVIEW ROUNDUP: “SpongeBob SquarePants” Opened with a ShowScore of 81

Show-Score | Dec 5, 2017
“SpongeBob SquarePants,” directed by Tina Landau, with music supervision by Tom Kitt, opened on December  4, 2017 in New York City. “SpongeBob SquarePants,” directed by Tina Landau, with music supervision by Tom Kitt, opened on December 4, 2017 in New York City.

CRITICS REVIEWS

24 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 76.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 70
"Tina Landau’s exhaustingly imaginative production...You will probably adore this musical if: a) 'SpongeBob' was a formative influence of your childhood, b) you are a stoner who tokes up to watch reruns of the show on YouTube; or c) if you are (like my date for this show) a parent of 'SpongeBob'-bingeing progeny. If you are none of the above, you will find your patience sorely tested...Tune out until the next amazing set piece, and then gape at the ingenious reconfigurations of objects."
Marilyn Stasio
Variety
ShowScore: 80
"Kyle Jarrow’s book retains the two key elements of the Nicktoon: the cheerful sea sponge’s unquenchable optimism and his selflessly heroic efforts to rescue his friends ...Landau’s hallucinogenic stagecraft transcends the show’s television origins by speaking a visual language that’s three-dimensional and boldly theatrical...It’s not as much of a gimmick as it seems, but without a signature sound, there’s no signature style. What there is, though, is plenty of giddy, goofy fun for all."
Adam Feldman
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 85
"A joy. Like its irrepressible yellow hero, played by the peppy and limber-limbed Ethan Slater, the show is unabashedly committed to imagination and dorky enthusiasm...What send the show soaring are David Zinn’s sensational costumes and set...In the end, 'SpongeBob' succeeds because Landau and Zinn make even the most complicated musical staging look and feel like child’s play. It wants you to have fun. Soak it in."

“SpongeBob SquarePants” was also reviewed by Elizabeth Bradley of Broadway News, Isabella Biedenharn of Entertainment Weekly, Sara Holdren of New York Magazine / Vulture, Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, Howard Miller of Talkin' Broadway, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune, Matt Windman of AM New York, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, David Gordon of Theatermania, Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Barbara Schuler of Newsday, Mark Shenton of The Stage (UK), Charles Wright of CurtainUp, Michael Bracken of Theater Pizzazz, Naveen Kumar of Towleroad, Peter Marks of The Washington Post, Diane Snyder of The Telegraph (UK), Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (UK), and Steven Suskin of The Huffington Post.

MEMBER REVIEWS

The show was also reviewed by 217 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 82.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Entertaining, Great staging, Clever, Delightful, Funny

Shari L, ShowScore: 95
See it if…"You love the TV show, big musical numbers, current and relevant topics, great singing, actors who are dead ringers for the TV characters."
Don't see it if…"You don’t like the show, quirky characters, storylines that are relevant to current topics, actors as characters with no character costumes."
M Jane, ShowScore: 65 
See it if…"You want a fun, happy musical. The cast is having a good time. There are some great numbers - solos, ensembles, and dancing scenes." 
Don't see it if…"You want to be surprised. You don't like 'kiddy voices and jokes.' There are many children in the audience - expect noises and kicking."
Nicole A, ShowScore: 84 
See it if…"You want to see a show that's so fun and pumped with energy. Extremely creative staging/set/costumes. Cute and funny without being gimmicky.
Don't see it if…"You want a deep and meaningful theater experience. your brain doesn't want to be stimulated by flashy colors and lights."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.


Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.



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