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Review: THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse

Review: THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse

This fun, family-friendly, and highly entertaining visual feast opens Titusville's 58th season

Review: THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? If you just started shouted a response, then you know the answer to that iconic musical question, is SpongeBob SquarePants the loveable yellow sponge who has been a pop culture staple since his debut on Nickelodeon over 20 years ago. Since then, the faithful and friendly sponge and his friends have appeared on everything from bedsheets to lunchboxes and in 2017 was brought to life as a Broadway musical. Garnering twelve Tony Award nominations, THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL showed that it is possible to make the transfer from cartoon to stage musical if you have the right mix of creative talent and vision. And now audiences in Titusville have their own chance to journey to Bikini Bottom and visit SpongeBob and friends in Titusville Playhouse's 58th season opener - THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL - a visual feast of a show featuring an outstanding cast which delivers a fun, family-friendly, and highly entertaining night at the theatre.

Review: THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse Based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg, THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL features original songs by practically every famous band you have ever heard of (only slightly kidding) - Sara Bareilles, The Flaming Lips, Lady A, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, The Plain White T's, They Might Be Giants - just to name a few. These songs are knit together by a simple (yet solid) book by Kyle Jarrow and additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton and music by Tom Kitt - providing audiences with a sampler platter of energetic and memorable moments.

Review: THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse For those who have never watched SpongeBob SquarePants (do you live under a rock like his sea-star BFF, Patrick?), THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL does a good job introducing the main characters and central plot of the show in the opening number. Our hero, SpongeBob SquarePants (Nick DiSandro) and his best friends, Patrick Star (Andrew Sparks) and Sandy Cheeks (Nayda Baez) do their best to save their beloved, underwater town of Bikini Bottom from impending doom (aka a live volcano about to erupt and destroy everything). They formulate a plan to use one of Sandy's inventions to avoid the apocalypse but are met by panic, fear and resistance from the townsfolk who can't figure out how to react - blame the government? The media? Or attack the things they don't understand (sound familiar?). Looking to take advantage of the town's state of panic is the evil Sheldon J. Plankton (Jordyn Linkous) and his computer wife, Karen (Erica DeJongh) who hatch a nefarious scheme aimed at hypnotizing the town into falling in love with his famous chum burger. All the rest of your favorite characters make an appearance as well including Mr. Krabs (Lucas Engle), SpongeBob's money-loving boss, Squidward Q. Tentacles (Thomas Greene), his long-suffering co-worker and neighbor, and even Patchy the Pirate (Ryon Eberhard) who breaks the fourth wall (as you might expect) with his love of all things SpongeBob. Do the three friends save the day or does Bikini Bottom get buried in the volcanic eruption - you will have to come to Titusville Playhouse and see for yourself!

Review: THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL is a great choice for Titusville Playhouse to open its 58th season. It includes magnificent, over-the-top creative designs and a stellar cast who look like they are having "The Best Day Ever" every moment they are on stage. Director Niko Stamos delivers a true love letter to the original - capturing perfectly on stage the silly (yet sometimes profound) scenarios and the pure heart and joy of the television show. The musical moves at a strong pace - stopping at moments for a familiar gag or joke, but always moving forward towards the nail-biting conclusion.

Review: THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse The actors in Titusville's THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL do a great job bringing these characters to hilarious life on the stage. Nick DiSandro pulls off a perfect pastiche of the title character, infusing his SpongeBob with a frenetic energy and positive attitude that brings a smile to your face every time he takes the stage. Mr. DiSandro nails the mannerisms, voice and famous laugh and is a joy to watch. Andrew Sparks as Patrick and Nayda Baez as Sandy do an equally strong job as the two other parts of this trio of friends and each have great moments to shine on their own as well. Jordyn Linkous is deliciously devilish as the small but brilliant Sheldon J. Plankton. His scenes with Erica DeJongh (Karen) are hilarious and a thrill to watch. Mr. Linkous is also responsible for the fun and functional choreography, and for designing the absolutely stellar costumes and wigs which are truly transporting - bringing every detail of Bikini Bottom to life via fabulous colors and textures. Ms. DeJongh also pulls double duty as the Foley artist - providing all the sound effects for the show from her tower stage right. Thomas Greene gives the audience a flustered and frustrated Squidward and Lucas Engle does a great job as Mr. Krabs, as does Anneliese Olivia Banks as his whale daughter, Pearl. Other standouts from the ensemble include the hilarious James "Jimbo" Bordenkircher as Mrs. Puff (always a favorite of mine), the golden voiced Noah Thomas as newsfish, Perch Perkins, and Lindsey Strembicki as the bureaucratic leader, Ms. Mayor.

Review: THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse As previously mentioned, part of the secret formula for making THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL as fun and entertaining as it is, falls to the creative designs and Titusville Playhouse's production truly delivers in this area. Already mentioned are Jordyn Linkous' phenomenal costume and wig designs. Add to that brilliant and bold scenic, projection and video designs by Christian Fleming, which tie the action on stage to the cartoon antics we know and love. Music Director Spencer Crosswell brings out fabulous vocals from the cast and also serves as sound designer, which for a show with cartoon sound effects every few moments, is quite a feat.

Overall, Titusville Playhouse's production of THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL is a visual feast which transports the audience to a fantastical and absurd underwater landscape filled with bold and brilliant (and hilarious) characters who all learn the value of acceptance and belonging while dealing with the impending end of their world. It is a musical mélange, full of energy and pure joy, and has something for everyone. So, now that you have heard all about it...Are you ready kids?... I can't hear you!

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, presented by Titusville Playhouse, runs through August 28th. Tickets are $25 to $37. Performances take place at the Titusville Playhouse, 301 Julia Street, Titusville, FL 32796. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.TitusvillePlayhouse.com or calling (321) 268-1125.

All Photos by Niko Stamos, Titusville Playhouse

Top Photo: The Cast of The SpongeBob Musical

Middle Photo 1: Jordyn Linkous as Sheldon J. Plankton and the cast of The SpongeBob Musical

Middle Photo 2: Nick DiSandro as SpongeBob Squarepants, Andrew Sparks as Patrick Star & Nayda Baez as Sandy Cheeks

Middle Photo 3: Thomas Greene as Squidward Q. Tentacles and the Sea Anemones

Middle Photo 4: Andrew Sparks as Patrick Star & the Sardines

Bottom Photo: The Cast of The SpongeBob Musical

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From This Author - Joseph Harrison

Joseph Harrison has been involved with the theatre in some form or fashion all his life. He holds a Journalism degree from the University of Georgia, but his true love is the theatre which he has b... (read more about this author)


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