Theater, Things to do during COVID closures

SpongeBob the Musical- Broadway Across America

SpongeBob. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode. And if my kids have, it wasn’t at our house. But when Chicken and Nugget learned that the SpongeBob musical would be passing through our state- not our town, our state- they just HAD to go.

And because I am a complete sucker, I bought tickets. Actually, it’s because I’m date challenged. Tickets were going to go in their Easter baskets, only for me to realize after the fact that the show was over a month before Easter. Oops.

When the day a month before Easter rolled around,before we were all asked to remain in our homes and maintain social distancing, we loaded up on coffee (me), hot chocolate (them), and snacks (all of us), and loaded up for the 2 hour drive. Two hours. Each way. But I digress.

Thanks to some serious traffic issues, we arrived with just enough time to check out the lobby, use the restroom, and get in line for the door to open slightly late. Having not been at the particular venue in yeeeeeeears, it was a pleasant surprise when we entered. It was lovely!

The first cool element of the show began as soon as you walked in. Lighting was used to create the impression of rippling water, giving the illusion that you are entering the sea to visit SpongeBob and friends. A couple cast members were already on stage, casually playing ukulele and bongo drums. Other cast members slowly joined in until they had quite the little band going, playing island style music. Ushers were all over the place holding signs tell you not to take pictures or videos, but as the formal announcement was made at the beginning of the show, a pirate came waltzing down the aisles, dragging luggage and holding a sign stating he was president of the SpongeBob fan club. He snapped pictures and walked onto the stage only to be confronted and run off by “security.” He made another appearance at the end of intermission and again at the end of the show. They were some of our favorite moments.

Overall, the show was kind of like being in the middle of a neon rainbow that exploded. It was colorful, over the top, high energy, and pure fun and silliness. My favorite character by far was Sheldon, the resident villain. He was portrayed by a fantastic actor who “accidentally graduated a year early” from college. How does that happen? Chicken loved Squidward and Nugget was a fan of SpongeBob himself. The women portraying Sandy and Pearl were off the charts amazing in their singing abilities. The end of the show was also a lot of fun, with cast members forming another band, streamers shooting into the audience, and beach balls tossed out for the audience to play with.

For me, it was a fun show, but not something I need to see again. For my kids, it has been their daily obsession for almost two months now. They sing the songs all day, want to listen to them in the car, and quote lines from the show at random times. They LOVED it.

For better or worse, you are also able to purchase the show from Amazon for $9.99. Ever the sucker, I did. It was odd watching it back in our current circumstances. The characters are in quarantine, waiting for scientists to save them, living under questionably competent leadership, and fear turns them against those who are not like them. I never thought like my life would be so accurately reflected by the citizens of Bikini Bottom, but here we are.

So…

What it’s not: my favorite show ever, a serious life altering show, scary, inappropriate for kids

What it is: funny, good music, colorful, fast paced, surprisingly relevant to our current situation, kid-friendly

Would we recommend it? My kids totally would. I would recommend it to huge fans of Spongebob, or to a family looking to entertain their kids over themselves. But for $9.99, it’s also a fun way to entertain the kids at home and likely get them singing, dancing, and giggling.

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