What it's about.
Spongebob Squarepants is a musical based on the Nickelodeon television series of the same name, with a cast including a yellow sponge and his under the sea friends living in Bikini Bottom. The musical circles around one specific catastrophe that calls to the frontline an unexpected land dwelling hero.
Going into this one, I had ALOT of thoughts. I had talked about the show and my preconceived notions pretty much non stop since I heard about it becoming a Broadway musical. The one thought I kept coming back to was “WHY, THOUGH? Why did we need to bring this to the stage? Especially the BROADWAY stage?” That idea stuck with me all the way until my ticketed night as I sat in my seat.
Immediately upon entering the theatre, I was in awe of the set! It included under water sound effects, under water lighting and hamster wheel contraptions on both sides of the stage. I mean, would I have expected anything less from a Broadway show? Can I even begin to imagine the budget?! I knew that even if the show itself didn't wow me, the production would.
Once the show began, I knew that I would struggle to enjoy it. As I watched, I never felt transported or removed from my audience member/observer viewpoint. I kept feeling underwhelmed and the story line felt much too corny. Cheyanne, did you forget what show you came to see? Did you expect a musical about a talking sponge to be anything less than corny? The fact that I failed to remember what this show was about makes me almost embarrassed. Am I really expecting a life changing piece of theatre? It's SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS Clarke! The tv show concept itself is corny!
Sadly, I spent more time looking in my Playbill than looking at the stage. With each song being written by someone else, all Grammy award winning artists, I wanted to know who wrote each song while it was being performed. My favorites were "Poor Pirates" written by Sara Bareilles (she’s just my faveeee human and I fangirl over her ALWAYS) and Plankton’s song "When the Going Gets Tough" written by T.I. which included Plankton full on rapping. Can’t lie, that was pretty dope. Having Plankton rap just felt so right. Despite me not really feeling like the songs went together, I did find myself impressed that we can have a Broadway show where someone like T.I. would be interested in writing for it.
While I did like certain aspects of the show, I felt overall underwhelmed. I didn’t come in with high expectations but, I did secretly hope that I would leave the theatre feeling differently from how I entered. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the people I was sitting around, which is a first. I was surrounded by a group of guys who looked like they just left the bar and were having an absolute blast on my left and a young boy who came with his parents who called out every character by name every time they came on stage on my right. It was the first time ever that I felt like people I had never encountered at the theatre were there to experience something new. I wanted so badly to talk to the dudes on my left and find out if they were sober. They seemed to be legitimately enjoying every bit of it. So despite my lacklusterness on the show itself, I can’t deny that I was entertained. Theatre doesn’t always have to be a groundbreaking, tear jerking masterpiece to be enjoyable. Sometimes, the only thing it needs to do is entertain. And for the first time ever, I might have found more entertainment in the audience than what was happening on stage.
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