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Review: SPONGEBOB THE MUSICAL at Players By The Sea

The production runs now through August 1.

Review: SPONGEBOB THE MUSICAL at Players By The Sea

"Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!" Spongebob the Musical opened at Players by the Sea on Friday night, and the crowd went wild. The musical follows Spongebob and the citizens of Bikini Bottom as they prepare for a natural disaster that could wipe out their town. Spongebob and his friends must find a way to save the town they love so much and battle various obstacles along the way. Audiences will recognize many of their favorite characters from the past 22 years of the popular television show.

The cast is supremely talented, starting with the main character himself, Spongebob Squarepants (Anthony Llerandi). Llerandi embodied the character perfectly! Not only did he have a voice reflecting the original character, but also had many of the sarcastic and funny characteristics we all love and admire in the "Simple Sea Sponge," which I would argue was one of his best numbers. Llerandi's voice and range were astounding. The "Super Sea Star Savior" Patrick Star (AJ DePetris) was also great! DePetris not only had the voice down perfect, but the mannerisms also accurately reflected the character. As someone who grew up watching the T.V. show, when DePetris delivered the popular line "Is mayonnaise an instrument?" I was immediately taken back to the moment I saw and laughed at that scene when I was a kid. The lone land mammal, Sandy (Alanna Carter) played the Texan squirrel perfectly! Not only did she play the voice of reason among her friends, but Carter's voice was absolutely astounding in numbers like "Hero Is My Middle Name" and "Chop to the Top."

Another memorable cast member was Plankton (Sam Gibson) the evil character trying to make his restaurant "The Chum Bucket" the most popular among the Bikini Bottom residents. I was absolutely blown away by Gibson's rapping in "When the Going Gets Tough." Plankton's computer wife, Karen (Josie Frein) brought life to the animatronic character we are used to, as well as real chemistry to the relationship between Plankton and Karen. Squidward (Mike Beaman) was also a crowd favorite, especially in his remarkable tap number "I'm Not a Loser," The ensemble tap dancers in the number were incredible, as well.

Other memorable characters included Mr. Krabs (Anthawn C. Ingram) and his daughter Pearl (Jessica Coleman). Their number "Daddy Knows Best" was amazing! Coleman's voice was amazingly displayed in that number. Ingram was perfect as the greedy Mr. Krabs in the number. Someone we all remember from the beginning of each Spongebob Squarepants episode was Patchy the Pirate, played by Johnny Flannagan in the musical. Flannagan had the best attitude and was very personable as he broke the fourth wall addressing the audience in the beginning of each act. He was also great in the number "Poor Pirates."

This entire production blew me away! It warmed my heart that Players by the Sea made it through the pandemic and this show displays why theatre is necessary in the community. It brought joy and laughter to each audience member, and some nostalgia to those of us who grew up watching the T.V. show. Spongebob the Musical is honestly a treat for the whole family. As Clara, a 6-year-old, told someone after the show "It was amazing. You've got to see it!" This cast is supremely talented, and their hard work has paid off. See Spongebob the Musical now through August 1.

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Want to stream The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage!? Find out how. The cast includes Ethan Slater as SpongeBob SquarePants, Gavin Lee as Squidward Q. Tentacles, Danny Skinner as Patrick Star, Brian Ray Norris as Eugene Krabs, Wesley Taylor as Sheldon Plankton, Christina Sajous as Sandy Cheeks and Tom Kenny as 'Patchy the Pirate.'

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The Spongebob Musical is now available for licensing through Concord Theatricals! The production is available for schools, colleges, universities, and other non-professional theatres.

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On this day in 2017, Bikini Bottom came to Broadway with the musical adaptation of the beloved cartoon Spongebob Squarepants!

From This Author - Jordan Higginbotham

Jordan is a graduate student and dietetic intern. Theater is her artistic escape from the world of science and dietetics. Jordan has enjoyed being the Jacksonville Regional Contributor fo... (read more about this author)

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