An iconic aquatic character makes his way to the legendary Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia, MD, for The SpongeBob Musical. Toby's veteran Mark Minnick oversees the musical, adapting Kyle Jarrow's Broadway book based on the hit Nickelodeon series. The stakes are higher than ever in this dynamic stage musical, as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face total annihilation in their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives are uncertain. Moreover, when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises and takes center stage. The power of optimism really can save the world.
Stepping into the role of SpongeBob and making his Toby's debut is Kyle Dalisimer. From the moment Kyle takes the stage, he pulls you into the character with his iteration. I honestly thought that Dalisimer was going to use the same voice that we hear on TV. Instead, the thespian brings a youthful everyman swag to the role. There was never a moment in the show where Dalisimer did not keep my attention. I also enjoyed his singing voice, particularly the opening number, "Bikini Bottom Day."
Another Toby's vet DeCarlo Raspberry assumes the role of Patrick Star and he single-handily steals the show with his jubilant antics. The chemistry between Raspberry and Dalisimer is organic, and generally, they have known each for years. Two musical numbers that feature Raspberry, "(I Guess I) Miss You" and "Super Sea-Star Savior, are worth the price of admission alone. Kudos also go to the third hero of the play, Janine Sunday, who brings unpolished confidence to the role of Sandy Cheeks.
Naturally, we have a villain in the play, which arrives in the form of Joey Ellinghaus Sheldon Plankton. Ellinghaus fully brings out the Napoleon complex fans have to come to know Plankton for on the show. The rest of the cast all bring the required quirks to some of your favorite SpongeBob characters, including Jeffery Shankle as Mr. Krabs, Jordyn Taylor as Pearl Krabs, and in an inventive costuming, Darren McDonnell as Squidward Q. Tentacles.
The SpongeBob Musical features two acts, one fifteen-minute intermission, but the families in attendance were never bored by the play. I saw fingers snapping, toes tapping, and fans singing along. As usual, Toby's provides a delicious themed buffet before the show, so be sure to arrive early.
Final Grade: B +
The SpongeBob Musical runs through July 31, 2022. Toby's Dinner Theatre is in Columbia, Maryland, and spectators can purchase tickets on Ticketasmter.com or by calling the box office at 410-730-8311, 301-596-6161, or 1-800-88-TOBY.