So if I tell you that SpongeBob SquarePants and his Squirrely cohort Sandy Cheeks and his Best Bud starfish Patrick are battling their way up Mount Humongous to save Bikini Bottom from nefarious extinction, their dear home town where Sponge Bob lives in a pineapple on the bottom of the sea with his Pet Snail that meows, you’ll laugh at me. Well just plain go ahead, laugh. It won’t be the only time. This is the funniest, godawfullest, unbelievably looniest, galumphingest show to deck the halls of the heretofore sainted Palace in the memory of the Universe. Who knew that Tina was such a total takeh mishugeneh?
Yes, Tina, that Tina, director Tina Landau, the one who wigged out in Wig Out, gorgeously wacky Wig Out but that was bupkess compared to this. I laughed my kishkess out, off, up, down, whatever. And you…Just be careful. There are children around. You might explode. I did. Still picking up the pieces. Oh, yeah, you think you know this SpongeBob SquarePants because he – it – that thing is on TV and you can’t go near it and the kids love it and something must be wrong with your perfect children, well something must be wrong with you. Get over it. And if you don’t see this show, it will be a black mark on your chart from now until doomsday showing your total lack of good sense - I take that back. Good sense never made this show. Good lack of sensed did. Tina conceived it! So get with the program. And fast. Or you’ll never get a ticket.
There’s a stampede. Because here are some alarming facts for you. Have you a clue as to what that thing has built as its own mountain of moolah? Thirteen BILLION dollars. Not even the Fake President lies that high. Although they do have a certain resemblance. Especially around the butt. Only a genius like Tina, Tina the Terrific could collect a company of Unbelievables who are so wickedly good they keep making you say, ”This is absolutely my favorite scene in the show!” And then you do it again. And again. And again. Every time Tina Terrific says, “Okay gang, this number we’re going to get a little goofier than the last time,” they must groan, “Oh, no, Tina, Tina, Tina, Tina.” And she’ll say, “Aw, c’mon, just this one more time. We’ve got these wicked songs from these wicked songwriters – Yolanda Adams, David Bowie and Brian Eno, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Jonathan Coulton, Sara Bareilles, The Flaming Lips –” ’ “Alll right, all right! Sheesh!” “That’s my sweeties, you know you can do it.” And then they’ll all groan, the whole movvilliss bunch, Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper, that oy! Gavin Lee, Danny Skinner, Brian Ray Norris, Wesley Taylor, all the rest, too, laugh their goddam heads off and do it again and funnier. By the time they’ve reached, oh, twenty-seven numbers, they’ve made us laugh our asses off. And bookwriter kook Kyle Jarrow led the way. Yes, my dears, it’s that kind of a show. Only better. Only worse. No, better. From the moment you get a load of the very theater itself, what wacko genius designer David Zinn has done to the theater – he did the oogliest costumes, too! -- every kid, every grown up will scream with oogliness. No such word? Adopt it. You’ll need it. Wow, those walls. Such a smarty pants. Instead of going loony with the prosthetics Tina has said no, my gang can BE SpongeBob SquarePants. And BE Patrick Star, and BE Squidward. Q. Tentacles, and Be Sheldon Plankton, BE Eugene Krebs, BE the Sardine Corps, BE the Electric Skates, BE the whole goddam squirtin’ undersea shootin’ match.
I’m happy to tell you that for Tina, Kevin Adams did the fershlugginer lighting, that Charles LaPointe did the UNBELIEVABLE hair design, that Christopher Gatelli did the quite incredible choreography, that Tom Kitt supervised all that sashaying squadron of music, that Joe Dulude did that oh such makeup, but am I going to run down the plot for you? Are you mad? Not the ferociousest lobster claws could drag it out of me, not the way they drug it out of Tina. Oh, the most beautiful sound in all the world, Tina, oh, Tina, Oh, Tina,oh Tina, oh,Tina, oh, Tina, I just met a maven called Tina, and suddenly the world is nuttier than the world should be… Really? This show is nuttier than this world? Only in the nicest way. I can’t hold it in any longer. I absolootely loved one number more than all the rest. I am not going to tell you which one. But you’ll figure it out. If you can count. Up to four. That’s a clue. And Ethan Slater shall forever more be enshrined as the Pineapple Prince of Tides. * SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. At the Palace, 1564 Broadway at 47th Street. Tickets: $49-$274. 877-250-2929. 2hrs 30 min. Open run. * This is the show you need even though you didn’t know you did.