By Zeke Seuser
On June 20, 2018, a group of Union students, chaperoned by Dean Bostian, had the opportunity to travel to New York City and London. While in New York City, they saw one of the most unexpected Broadway shows of all time: “Spongebob the Musical.” While the show opened to mixed reviews from critics, longtime fans of the animated TV show were not disappointed.
In “Spongebob the Musical”, our heroes, Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick Star, and Sandy Cheeks, are tasked with saving their beloved home of Bikini Bottom from the volcanic eruption of Mount Humongous.
When the Tony Award nominations were announced, the cast and crew had much to celebrate. They walked away with 12 nominations (tied for the most amount this season with “Mean Girls the Musical”) including Best Direction of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Musical, and many more prestigious awards. However, on Tony’s night, “Spongebob” walked away with only one award: Best Scenic Design of a Musical.
“I think it deserved much more,” Dean Bostian said when asked about the outcome for “Spongebob” at the Tony Awards. “The characters, colors, and antics were aimed towards children, but the story was aimed at adults. While the story was childlike enough for kids to enjoy, the story, in my opinion, took a direct shot at us as a society. We are scared of outsiders and we have a tendency to often blame those who are different, instead of listening to them and learning what they are saying.”
During the following months, the spongey excitement did not stop. In fact, “Spongebob” saw some of the highest capacity ratings of all time. However, even the abundance of Tony nominations was not able to stop the inevitable closing of this show.
“Spongebob the Musical” closed on September 16, 2018 due to a renovation project taking place at its home, the Palace Theater. At the time of closing, it played 29 previews and 327 regular performances.