‘The SpongeBob Musical’ has a lot going on — in a good way
Boston audience will have a chance to see surprising take on the world around us though Oct. 27
October 21, 2019
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
“The SpongeBob Musical,” which is playing in Boston through Oct. 27, is entertaining for all ages. The simple plot line is filled with fun and comedy.
But, although “The SpongeBob Musical” might seem to be a fun kids show on the outside, there is a depth to it, with underlying political and dark themes.
However, having said this, parents should not feel discouraged to bring children as many of the “adult” themes will go over the heads of young ones.
The plot revolves around the struggles and conflicts present in Bikini Bottom after the town hears that a natural disaster is coming its way, hurting and forever changing its very existence. Through this plot line, the musical is able to portray what different people turn to in times of crisis. As many of these themes mirror today’s society, the show also provides a voice of urgency for change.
The play alludes to and makes continuous references to today’s political climate through topics of immigration, media, government, climate change, as well as the voice of religion. As the impending catastrophe inches closer, the fear the citizens of Bikini Bottom feel causes them to act out in ways of desperation and self-preservation. Feeling the pressure, the mayor of Bikini Bottom feels it is the fault of the media for creating this chaos, while the media blames the government for not taking effective initiative.
Others simply want to find someone to blame, regardless of reason.
Due to this type of thinking, many utilize the differences of others to ostracize them, creating hate campaigns and driving them out with signs that read “Go Back to Where You Came From.” Drawing a parallel between the anti-immigrant agenda present in today’s politics, the musical takes well loved and relatable characters and makes the idea of the “other” seem less foreign and intimidating to the audience.
With this new distrust of the government, many in Bikini Bottom turn to religion as a source of hope and solace. Finding temporary cures in superstition, they cling onto it. In contrast, an alternative solution to the natural disaster is created through a scientific plan. However, as shown in the play, the only reasonable idea falls short due to others portraying it as fake, untrustworthy, science.
In a comparison to the culture of climate-deniers and urgent climate action that is needed to be taken by the government, the show accurately depicts this struggle.
The topic of an existential crisis was another real world idea that made an appearance in the musical. Questioning one’s purpose or one’s own self is a feeling that nearly everyone has experienced at one point or another. A few of the characters end up questioning what they have to offer for the world, as well as where they fit in.
In opening this conversation, the play provides a chance to educate the kids — and even adults — in the audience that it is OK not to be OK sometimes, to have bad days, have flaws, and be human. The opportunity to see such staple characters in a more human light is something that is so rare, but also so important for kids to grow up with.
While crisis ensues, some of the characters start to question their abilities and their usefulness. Although some struggle internally, many decide to take advantage of the chaos around them, exploiting, and making a profit off of the struggles of others. Although this is sort of a darker message, it is a very realistic example of parts of our world today.
Seeing “The SpongeBob Musical” was a very enjoyable experience. It is a musical that emphasizes messages that children need to hear. Along with important educational messages, it is also very entertaining to watch such a silly show resemble our everyday reality.
The songs were all very well written and it was fascinating to hear how songs written by different artists were incorporated, all very cohesively. There was a very friendly and fun ambiance among the audience, and the bright colors and costumes that took over the stage made everything comical and joyous.
–Oct. 19, 2019–
Leyla Mandel is a longtime member of the Raider Times staff.