College student finds a musical world she’d like us all to live in
When I heard the news in 2016 that “SpongeBob SquarePants,” one of the most beloved cartoons of my childhood, was coming to Broadway, my initial reaction was that of a majority of people who hear about this musical for the first time — skeptical. I thought, “How can you take a show about a cartoon sponge and his group of undersea pals and bring it to the theatrical stage while still keeping the originality and charm of the cartoon?” Once I saw the costumes, cast and list of composers for the music, however, I was pretty sure this show would be something special.
Not too long after, the original cast recording was released, and I fell in love with it almost immediately. From Plankton rapping in a song written by the rapper T. I. to SpongeBob belting his “I Want” song written by Panic! At the Disco to the cast’s rendition of one of the amazing songs from the cartoon. In total, The SpongeBob Musical includes 17 memorable songs, 10 of which were written by Grammy Award-winning artists, and all of which I never get tired of hearing and singing.
In addition to the music, this musical really does have something for everyone.
If you’re a visual person, you can appreciate the intricacy and detail of both the costumes and sets. If you grew up watching the cartoon, you’ll love all of the references to it that are made throughout the show, but you’ll also appreciate the unique take on each character and the way they have been fleshed out for the stage. If you’re unfamiliar with the animated series, you’ll still appreciate the entirely original plot and the themes of positivity, perseverance and equality. There’s also something to be said about the diversity of the cast, not only racially but also in size, gender and sexuality. Many people who do not often see themselves represented on stage have found at least one character or cast member to relate to in this musical. As a fat person myself, the character of Patrick means a lot to me because his fatness is never made to be an issue.
The cast and crew, both past and present, are a big reason this show has become my absolute favorite of the past few years. They all seem incredibly excited to work with each other and be a part of this show that has impacted fans of all ages. Their positive and supportive attitudes have trickled down into the fandom to create an online environment where truly everyone is kind to each other, which can be quite rare, especially in bigger fandoms where there are so many differing opinions thrown around.
Overall, SpongeBob The Musical has impacted me in a way that not many other musicals have, even having been a musical-theatre geek for the majority of my life. It helped me realize how much I love performing and doing silly voices, and it gave me hope that I could land my dream role in a musical someday. In fact, it would be a dream to play any of the characters in this musical, because every single character in the show has a shining moment, from the titular character to the ensemble members. The SpongeBob Musical truly represents everything I love about musical theatre, and I will probably be belting out those songs until the day I die.
Cayl Jameson is an English major at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, who is currently doing a marketing internship with the DCPA as part of the Wartburg West program. A longtime theatre geek and creative writer, she is excited to share her ideas with our readers.
The SpongeBob Musical: Ticket information
- At a glance: A legendary roster of Grammy® Award winners. A visionary director and a Tony Award®-winning design team. One of the world’s most beloved characters. Turn them loose on stage and what do you get? Broadway’s best creative minds reimagine and bring to life the beloved Nickelodeon series with humor, heart and pure theatricality. SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face catastrophe until a most unexpected hero rises to take center stage. The bold, original musical celebrates friendship, cooperation, and the power of unity and inclusion. The power of optimism really can save the world.
- Dates: March 10-22
- Where: Buell Theatre
- Tickets: Start at $30 and can be purchased at 303-893-4100 or in person in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex at 14th and Curtis streets or online by clicking here: