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"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"What makes the production work so well is that Landau's lovably energetic company is staged in movements that effectively replicate those of their animated characters...The production values are so strong that they come close to covering up the merely serviceable quality of much of the written material...But there's no denying that 'SpongeBob' is an optical treasure filled with clever stagecraft and played by a top-shelf company." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"Nothing short of genius...Landau and her creative team have reimagined the television series for the stage, building a world that resembles the cartoon, while taking brilliant advantage of this new medium...Landau develops the vibe of a rock concert throughout, while Jarrow's text theatricalizes the incendiary humor...The show, however, is on the fatty side...SpongeBob might save the day in the end, but Landau is the real hero in this venture, and an inspiring one at that." Full Review
"One of the most deliciously outlandish physical productions in memory...Tina Landau does a good job over there in Bikini Bottom: there is a lot of show here, and she packs it all onstage. While it might not be artistic, it is ever-cheery and delivers what it aims to...Late in the second act comes the one knockout, show tune-wise: 'I’m Not a Loser'...Otherwise, it’s a tame evening for those who enter the Palace gates without a preexisting affinity for 'SpongeBob SquarePants.'" Full Review
"The most exciting sequences arise when Landau puts cartoon plots aside and concentrates on delivering the sugar-shock visual pleasure...This raw bar of composers makes for a lack of musical cohesion...But more conventional book musicals don’t have David Zinn’s blissfully eye-popping set and costume design...Design and performances aside, 'SpongeBob' is as perfunctorily entertaining as it is insistently forgettable." Full Review
"Familiarity with the perennially cheerful SpongeBob and his fellow citizens of the underwater hamlet of Bikini Bottom is helpful but not essential for delighting in this fun-filled romp, staged with a combination of child-like glee and adult sophistication by Landau...Jarrow’s otherwise snappy book could lose a half-hour particularly during an extended adventure sequence...Some adults may chafe at all the giggly silliness, but for kids and kids at heart, this is a sweet, watery treat." Full Review
“You'll love this -- if this is the sort of thing you love...Burdened with a silly, predictable plot and so many lessons about tolerance, kindness, and community spirit...this is a musical designed for true SpongeBob believers only...The songs are pretty uniformly forgettable...All of this is orchestrated with a fair amount of bravado by Landau...What she can't fix is the cipher-like lead character and a plot that is much too elementary for anyone past the fourth grade." Full Review
"Tom Kitt has helped assemble a tuneful and eclectic score...All of this makes for many enjoyable moments. But it’s still difficult to justify devoting two and a half hours to a cartoon sponge...Despite all the terrific talent and pleasing razzle dazzle, a theatergoer who isn’t seven years old or stoned or an unusually empathetic parent may secretly wish before the 150 minutes are up that Humongous will destroy Bikini Bottom soon and let us all get back early to dry land." Full Review
"It’s a guaranteed good time for families...But it could so easily have been much better...Act two has better songs, more action and eventually a propulsive rush to the confetti-filled finale. You’ll be smiling when you leave...While the production is handsome, it also has a playground vibe that feels just right...Truly, a lot of songs just kill time...But what a shame and what a show they might have had...I had fun, mostly because the cast was so winning." Full Review
"There's a certain whiplash effect, to be sure, in jumping from Bowie/Eno gloom rock to bubblegum pop to country to gospel to more conventional show tunes. But there's also a generosity of spirit here that, together with the playful visual imagination and the extremely likeable, racially diverse cast, proves hard to resist...Musical-theater snobs should probably give 'SpongeBob' a wide berth. But audiences willing to go with its demented escapism should find plenty of fun." Full Review
“This tidal wave of nautical nonsense has turned the Palace Theatre into an eye-poppingly colorful seascape filled with subaquatic life ranging from petite plankton to lumbering leviathans…Staged with unceasing zest…and a confetti-covered…beach ball party, 'SpongeBob SquarePants' defies you to be bored...Within all the nutty behavior and antics, a few adult-oriented thematic points are made…Expressive vitality, visual ingenuity, vibrant musicality, and consistently exceptional performances.” Full Review
"Despite some weak spots, the new Broadway musical adaptation works well enough as a lively, silly, trippy show appealing to kids, Millennials and anyone who has watched the TV show since it premiered in 1999...The elaborate production benefits from an immersive, blue-streaked visual design that spills into the audience...All in all, 'SpongeBob' manages to win over the crowd thanks to an energetic cast, psychedelic flair and party atmosphere." Full Review
"It is to the credit of the determined, big-hearted director and the charming, gifted star of 'SpongeBob SquarePants' that they have stayed relentlessly focused not only on the show’s famously goofy optimism but on its happily anarchic aesthetic...Not every attempt at singularity works, but, in its best moments, it is very much its own thing. Proudly so...In the final Broadway analysis, a show for those in the know and, of course, for kids...This is not a piece that will create many new belie... Full Review
“The last 40 minutes or so is such mind-rattling, eye-popping, rib-tickling fun that maybe I should just stop right there. Not that this popular series is ever short on energy, visual spectacle, inside-Bikinisms and the like...For, first-act problems aside, this show, ingeniously staged by Landau and choreographed by Gattelli within an inch of its CO2 life, has more to offer than we had any right to expect in this era of dreary Broadway knockoffs of Hollywood dross.” Full Review
"Delightful but overstuffed...Explodes with catchy songs, Crayola-bright visuals, goofy humor, not-so-silly messages, and lots of heart. There’s a breakout star turn, to boot...Undersea denizens are given human form but retain telltale traits. It’s a smart decision that broadens accessibility...Momentum stalls occasionally from so many story threads, but David Zinn’s clever sets and costumes offer constant eye candy to compensate...'SpongeBob' is simply a pleasure." Full Review
"Fun and smart and festive and joyful it is. In spades...It’s a colorful spectacle that feels intoxicating and exciting before the show even begins...Ethan Slater making his Broadway debut, gives about the best performance of a sponge that one could hope for...Every underwater creature is playing their part swimmingly...Time will tell if it is a success financially, but as an artistic endeavor, they have surprised the Broadway world and hit that pineapple out of the park." Full Review
“This visually stunning, witty and faithful stage adaptation is a lot of fun but drawn out...Landau’s euphoric staging vigorously emphasizes spectacle, humor, and sensitivity...The material is edgy enough to entertain adults...Portions of it are over-extended, repetitious, and tangential. Perhaps for Broadway, its creators felt the need to really make it a full-length show. In this case, less would have been more,though the abundant merriment is still pleasurable." Full Review
"It’s all admirably imaginative. What the designs, direction and performances rarely are is magical, inspired, or outrageously fun, although the two Rube Goldberg-like machines that thrust 'molten' beach balls onto the stage can be called 'ingenious'...Severely hampered by Kyle Jarrow’s flat, witless book...What keeps 'SpongeBob' afloat are the original songs by Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, and others." Full Review
"The wildest romp of a musical Broadway has seen in many a season...It's best to have a familiarity with SpongeBob...There's still a lot of fun to be had for the uninitiated...Mostly made up of silly shenanigans and lots of big production numbers, several of which are quite good...It is certainly an overstuffed banquet for the eye and the ear, and it does run the risk of stimulus overload, but for fans of that happy-go-lucky member of the phylum porifera, it's not to be missed." Full Review
"This exuberant, expensive and sometimes enervating spectacle -- directed with utter confidence by Tina Landau and featuring typically thrilling choreography by Tony winner Christopher Gattelli -- is likely to give you whiplash...I’m not sure the creators’ idea to have over a dozen notable songwriters contribute to the score was a gamble that fully paid off. There are a few too many songs for the show’s own good, and far too many musicals styles are on display here." Full Review
"Ultimate credit goes to Director Tina Landau whose eye and ear for detail adds credibility and whose imaginative staging captivates...Kyle Jarrow’s book employs signature expressions, expanding and embroidering while maintaining unique personalities...The musical’s problem, ignored by ninety percent of this exuberant audience, is its music and lyrics (arranged/orchestrated by Tom Kitt) which are almost uniformly generic/cliché." Full Review
"An absolute delight. Silly, heartfelt and charming, it has infectious songs written by an array of top music talent and it’s been cleverly conceived and directed by the innovative Landau. Landau and her collaborators haven’t tried to put the cartoon series onstage; they’ve reimagined it for the theatre...It’s a thin plot to stretch out over nearly two-and-a-half hours, but the occasional lulls are forgivable...Dare I say that adults as well as children are likely to find 'SpongeBob' absorbing." Full Review
"This is an astonishing looking scenic achievement...The undersea world of 'SpongeBob' teems with cartoon creatures, here brought to life by a superb cast put through entertaining confrontations and elaborate musical numbers. Yes, the book sags now and then but there is always an arresting sight of a new scenic wonder or lighting coup...A memorable example of the elaborate staging possible in the theater, and anyone interested at that aspect of showbiz should be sure to see it." Full Review
See it if you want a well-paced, high energy show. No need to love the cartoon to enjoy the show. Great music throughout, & Ethan Slater is a FORCE!
Don't see it if you want a serious show. This is solely fun -- there is no stakes in the plot. Also avoid if you don't like over-the-top characters.
See it if you are looking for some carefree fun. Great for the entire family and Ethan Slater as Spongebob is astounding!
Don't see it if You are looking for "deep" theater. You will not be moved, but you'll still smile no matter how hard you resist.
See it if you are a SPONGEBOB fan or if you want to be truly entertained. This is a spectacularly designed show. It is a full on party waiting for you
Don't see it if you dislike movement or have a distaste for clever, innovative theatre. Just go. You will have a blast. Sit in the mezzanine. Best seats.
See it if You want to see a rock-solid cast of actors, a gorgeous and unique set design and a set of infectious tunes.
Don't see it if You're frustrated by an abysmal script and a meandering, wildly unfocused storyline.
See it if You like a mix of sig spectacle and intimate songs. You like clever staging and wondrous costumes and intricate timing.
Don't see it if You want profound. You dont like spectacle. You want a strong or unique story.
See it if you like the idea of this cartoon coming to life and want to see an uplifting and colorful show!
Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional show - this is a silly fun, but what else would you expect from Spongebob!
See it if a fun show , good story behind it. Very good directing and staging. Not just for kids but for everyone of all ages.
Don't see it if it can be silly, not for the serious theater goer. If you are not into shows like school of rock, or any show that has kids themes too it.
See it if you love Spongebob, innovative staging with great performances, and an eclectic mashup of songs and genres
Don't see it if stiffer, more classical pieces of musical theater canon
See it if You grew up watching SBSP or are the parent of a kid who did. Very clever human adaptation of cartoon characters. Insider references. Set A+
Don't see it if You are unfamiliar with Sponge Bob. Not enough there to grab onto unless you understand the backstory.
See it if you like to see broadly painted cartoon characters charmingly brought to life, fantastic costumes & stagecraft & a winning lead performance.
Don't see it if you don’t like shows based on sea creature cartoon characters, musicals aimed at nostalgic 20-somethings, colorful costumes & elaborate sets
See it if you're open to a beautiful visual display from set to costumes! so much to see. great pacing and mix of styles keeps the show moving
Don't see it if you're averse to bright colors or don't want to unlock your fun side
See it if you’re a fan of spongebob & want to see the stage adaptation of the show or want a light hearted entertainment with great staging & fun cast
Don't see it if you’re not a fan of Spongebob Squarepants or are looking for topics that are serious, intellectual or with substance in your broadway shows
See it if You should go just to see Ethan Slater. He is so talented. I also loved Alex Gibson he went on as squid ward at my show.
Don't see it if You will enjoy it way more if you have seen the tv show.
See it if full Broadway treatment - wonderful sets, costumes, dance, orchestra, super-kinetic performance by Ethan Slater as Bob
Don't see it if though has many charms of TV show/humor & whimsy, ultimately succumbs to standard Bdway tricks: silly plot, rock concert finale; meh music
See it if you want to thoroughly entertain your inner child. Shout out to Gavin Lee - you're absolutely amazing as Squidward Q Tentacles
Don't see it if you don't have a lighthearted bone in your body
See it if Willing to turn off your brain and appreciate a world of zany colors, bouncy melodies and optimism.
Don't see it if Looking for intellectual stimulation. (See Junk instead.)
See it if you're up for a surprisingly delightful, heartfelt & optimistic musical; never expected a musical about SPONGEBOB to be a balm for the soul
Don't see it if you just can't get over the idea that it's a musical based on Spongebob; if you don't want to see a brilliant cast or astonishing design