SpongeBob Squarepants may be best for youngsters and young-ish millennials, but there seems to be plenty to entertain our full-grown critics too. The epic $20 million budget affords scenery and props that are ridiculously fun and imaginative, fully creating the bubbly world of a 2-dimensional cartoon in 3-dimensional glory. And the performers match the aesthetic, especially Ethan Slater who nails the bendy, ultra-energetic title character in his Broadway debut. It’s not the most sophisticated fare, but it’s absolutely dripping with fun – and that’s exactly what SpongeBob fans will want.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS
For what it’s worth — and we’re talking millions of dollars here — you are never going to see as convincing an impersonation of a two-dimensional cartoon by a three-dimensional human as that provided by Ethan Slater at the Palace Theater. Mr. Slater plays the title role in “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical,” the ginormous giggle of a show that opened on Monday night. This may sound like dubious praise. But think about it. How many of those legions of figures who gambol through stage adaptations of animated movies — teapots, lions, fake Russian princesses, ad infinitum — seem to have been transliterated from the screen without any dilution of their inked-in essence?
VARIETY REVIEW OF SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS
Children should feel free to take their parents to Tina Landau’s psychedelically inspired version of the whimsical kiddie cartoon show that’s been making a fortune for Nickelodeon since 1999. Kyle Jarrow’s book retains the two key elements of the Nicktoon: the cheerful sea sponge’s unquenchable optimi…
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS
Nickelodeon brings its long-running underwater toon franchise to Broadway with this eye-popping, psychotropic (geddit?) musical fantasia about friendship and community, directed by Tina Landau. Bubbles, streamers, confetti or beach balls? Duh, all four, obviously. That’s what comes cascading down on the audience during the ebullient finale of SpongeBob SquarePants, a splashy $20 million bid by Nickelodeon to add a new monster tentacle to its lucrative animated media franchise — giving the yellow porous one his very own Broadway musical.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEW OF SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS
Sponges lack nervous systems. Just as well. Broadway — where the hooks can come out — is no Bikini Bottom when it comes to hosting an optimistic porifera best known as a kid’s cable television brand, an animated star now bobbing dangerously close to irrelevance in cultural waters that flow far too quickly for a…
HUFFINGTON POST REVIEW OF SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS
I am of the generation that does not remember a world before Spongebob. Therefore I was extremely skeptical when I heard that Tina Landau was going to adapt the beloved anthropomorphic sea sponge into a Broadway musical. Like many, I had high expectations and was expecting to be disappointed. To quote a very emotional child during intermission: “I didn’t want to like it this much!” Watching this new musical comes with an overwhelming mix of emotions: you go in thinking it can’t possibly be good, but during the show you are swept up and captivated, you dance along, you root for your favorites, you laugh and you smile. Although it is certainly unexpected, “Spongebob Squarepants: The Musical” is a hit. It is magical and colorful and fun. It has sophistication and nuance amidst childish jokes and physical humor. Just like the original cartoon, it is an incredible visual spectacle with some real substance underneath. It’s perfect not only for children but for families, for adults, for anyone; this musical is for everyone.
AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS
Holiday cheer has arrived — in the form of “nautical nonsense.” Who else but SpongeBob SquarePants, the resolutely upbeat yellow sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea, could convince a mob of sea creatures panicking over their imminent annihilation to hold hands and sing that it’s the “Best Day Ever”?