Arches Program Attends Final Run of “SpongeBob Squarepants: the Musical”

by MADALYN JOHNSON, Staff Writer

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea or perhaps Palace Theater? SpongeBob SquarePants: the Musical.

The hit Nickelodeon show turned into a Broadway musical with music written by a line of impressive and well-known artists like David Bowie, John Legend, Sara Bareilles, Plain White T’s, Panic at the Disco and so many more amazed all audience members. Small children, adults and teens who wish to take a trip down to memory lane were mesmerized by the show’s colorful characters, exotic costumes, bright set designs and outstanding talent.

Manhattan College’s Arches Program took a handful of its members to a show on Sept. 13. The program, who has visited many popular destinations in New York such as Coney Island and Chelsea Pier, is a living and learning in community that allows first-year students to explore parts of New York City while engaging in team exercises and activities. The students were able to sit in orchestra seats as they watched beloved cartoon characters perform and entertain.

The show takes place in the heart of Bikini Bottom in which the protagonist SpongeBob SquarePants, played by Tony nominee Ethan Slater, has to save his hometown from an erupting volcano. He is joined by his two friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks who are played by Danny Skinner and Christina Sajous. The three together team up to stop the volcano and reunite the town from a chaotic state in a variety of song.

Many musical numbers in the show left people humming to the catchy beat or talking about the groovy and energetic choreography. One of the most comedic and favored songs, “I’m Not a Loser” sung by Squidward, played by Gavin Lee, left audience members out of their seats cracking up and then giving a standing ovation.

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The show featured the works of artists including David Bowie, Sara Bareilles, John Legend and others. MADALYN JOHNSON / THE QUADRANGLE

One of the youngest cast members of the show, Jai’Len Christine Li Josey, who plays Pearl the whale teenager daughter of money-hungry Mr. Krabs was a show-stopper, literally stopping the show with her incredibly powerful vocals stunning everyone in the room.

Ethan Slater put on a spectacular performance embodying the character perfectly by keeping up with the standards of the original SpongeBob’s iconic, squeaky voice. He also put on a promising performance with an appealing singing voice and athletic ability like no other, climbing, flipping and jumping all throughout the show.

After 327 performances and 29 previews, the show, unfortunately, closed on Sept. 16 but is set to begin a national tour in the fall of 2019. The Palace Theater, which has held many classic Broadway shows including Oklahoma, Legally Blonde, West Side Story and Annie is being shut down and is going to undergo construction. The musical also didn’t succeed the financial mark Nickelodeon had hoped for which was $18 million.

With two-decades of TV content, two movies and now a Broadway musical, the SpongeBob SquarePants series has sure proved itself worthy of pleasing audiences. The musical, especially, didn’t disappoint in delivering a happy, good feel and heart-warming story about a “simple” sponge.