disclosure: We were invited to see the opening performance of The SpongeBob Musical at the Orlando Rep in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own. No other compensation was received.
Are ya ready, kids? Everyone’s favorite yellow sponge & his friends have arrived in Orlando. Orlando Rep’s Edyth Bush Theater has transformed into Bikini Bottom, hosting SpongeBob SquarePants and friends in The SpongeBob Musical!
The SpongeBob Musical was a big, splashy Broadway show – and now it has made its way to Central Florida. We fell in love with the soundtrack in 2019, and knew we had to see this show. We were not able to see it live(it was 2020), but watched the DVD of the show. While it was still, and always will be, a SpongeBob show, it had merit. SpongeBob is a very colorful animated, visually appealing show. You have to appreciate the creativity used to bring these scenes to life. And the music – have I mentioned how much I love the soundtrack to this show?
About SpongeBob the Musical
Dive into the undersea town of Bikini Bottom with SpongeBob and his quirky circle of friends and neighbors – Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and even Plankton – in this dynamic stage musical with songs from music’s most legendary artists. Chaos erupts when SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation at the threat of Mt. Humongous. Just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage. The power of optimism really can save the world!
The SpongeBob Musical was just as energetic and chaotic as you would expect from a SpongeBob show, minus the overly obnoxiousness associated with the show. For those on the fence about seeing this performance, three words that might raise an eyebrow were used once each(idiot, stupid and penniless jerk). These instances are minor, and should not deter from the overall messages this play conveys – loyalty and friendship are key; optimism is an important personality trait; and passing blame when something goes wrong is not ok. The SpongeBob Musical is a bit lengthy, with a runtime of 2 hours and 10 minutes. A ten-minute stretch break is included.
The cast for Orlando Rep’s The SpongeBob Musical production could not be more spot on. To say that someone was born to play a role would be an understatement. Joel Hunt is as bright-eyed and energetic as his animated yellow counterpart – down to his jumps! To actually single out any cast member out would be impossible. This incredible cast fit their roles seamlessly. Kudos to the casting department and this incredible cast. If you have seen other Rep performances this year, you may even notice a few familiar faces!
One thing I have always admired when seeing a show at the Rep is the simplicity of costumes and set design. The design crew can take every day objects and transform them into creative props and costume pieces, allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in the story. This also encourages the youngest audience members that they too can take every day objects and bring their imagination to life.
The SpongeBob Musical makes great use of engaging the audience by using the entire theater, talking to the audience and dancing in the aisles. There was not a moment that we were not in awe of this spectacular show.
Special modifications have been made to Orlando REP’s production of The SpongeBob Musical for a Sensory-Friendly performance on March 19th at 6pm. Volunteer helpers are stationed in the lobby and throughout the theatre to assist patrons as they are seated. Adjustments have been made to the show’s lighting and sound effects. A quiet room is available, should patrons need to leave the theatre at any time. A Social Story, a resource guide for parents and children, is also available for download, so patrons can get a feel for the theatre experience before the day of the show. Tickets are available for the March 19th performance here.
The SpongeBob Musical is now playing at Orlando Rep through April 30th. Tickets are available now – get yours before this show swims away!
📷 photo credit: McKenzie Lakey