Say it with me: “I am not a simple sponge.”
Full of positivity and pluck, this stage adaptation of the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon gifts the audience with mantras like “Hero is my middle name,” and “I’m not a loser,” mixed into the show’s goofiness.
The musical’s original plot and soundtrack appeal to people of all ages and degrees of familiarity or devotion to the original. By the end of the big first number, “Bikini Bottom Day,” you’re fully absorbed into the colorful community and stoked to be in on their funny business.
An ordinary day quickly turns extraordinary when the seafloor shakes violently, warning of Mount Humongous’ impending volcanic eruption. As a frenzy of fear ensues, SpongeBob and his friends are challenged to stick together, listen to one another, and find their own sources of strength in order to save the town.
Their complicated emotions burst out in song, using a wide-ranging soundtrack written by legends such as Cyndi Lauper, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, Steven Tyler, and T.I. Keep an ear open for a touching interaction between Mr. Krabs and his teenage daughter, Pearl. Squidward’s breakout number reveals thoughts hidden behind his tough exterior.
Crafty stage design with simple props will spark viewers’ I-M-A-G-I-N-A-T-I-O-N as the cast manipulates pool toys, cutouts, ladders, and sink sponges to create scene changes and dynamic visuals.
It just goes to show that a little bit can go a long way if you work with enthusiasm and as a team, even when mayhem tries to separate—a timely lesson for the landlubbers.
Need to Know: The SpongeBob Musical plays at the Buell Theatre, at Denver Center for the Performing Arts, March 12-22. Tickets start at $35.