Review: Four-legged tap dancing squid stops show in TPAC’s 'The SpongeBob Musical'

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On Tuesday night, Nov. 5, TPAC opened with a wild ride of a multi-technical light show and musical, based on a favorite children’s TV show. 

It’s about a yellow sponge who lives under the sea with a crazy bunch of underwater characters. However, “The SpongeBob Musical” is a lot more vibrant than your child remembers. This production is extremely intense, with vibrating, brightly colored lights and strong, pulsating music that come across more like “Sesame Street” on acid.

The show’s songs were written by some top songwriters — David Bowie, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Lady Antebellum, John Legend and Cyndi Lauper. The dancing is inventive and imaginative, with an incredible show-stopping number performed by a squid named Squidward Q. Tentacles, delightfully played by Cody Cooley. He tap dances with two pairs of legs and is backed by a beautiful, fuzzy, pink-headed and pink-sequined-gowned sea anemone chorus line to the song “I’m Not A Loser.” The visual of his solo performance tapping with his four talented feet was unbelievably amazing, and then, following in perfect time with the chorus line — the audience loved it.

SpongeBob, perfectly played by Lorenzo Pugliese, has an amazing, very strong, clear voice, and is every inch the beloved SpongeBob from the TV show. With his friends, including Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel in underwater gear played by Daria Pilar Redus, who also has an incredibly beautiful voice, SpongeBob tries to save their little valley under the sea from a soon-to-blow volcano. 

The rest of this seafood cast, who are all afraid of becoming bouillabaisse from the exploding volcano, are all excellent, from Patrick the starfish, Mr. Krabs the crab, the lobster, the baby whale, even down to the one-eyed funny villain, Sheldon Plankton, played to fishy perfection by Tristan McIntyre.

The audience will find many surprises during the evening, from attacking pirates (and I do mean attacking, and not from the stage), bubbles, confetti, jellyfish and much more. The fourth wall has been broken in this show, so attendees should expect the unexpected.

“The SpongeBob Musical” plays until Nov. 10 at the Andrew Jackson Hall. For more information, go to TPAC.ORG or call 615-782-4040. 

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