Talk about a show that takes a deep dive, and with one of the most absorbing main characters out there, too. Beloved animated character SpongeBob SquarePants is taking the stage this spring at the Palo Alto Players in "The SpongeBob Musical."
Though this Broadway musical is based on a kids' cartoon and it is suited for all ages, the themes of the show are a little like if the 2021 disaster-denial satire film "Don't Look Up" was set beneath the waves, but — no real spoilers here — with a much happier ending. In this case, impending doom comes in the form of an underwater volcano set to blow the town of Bikini Bottom sky-high.
As disaster looms, many denizens of the town throw their hopes behind a method for escaping town peddled by a couple of local business owners who have a villainous ulterior motive. Only SpongeBob and pals Patrick and Sandy Cheeks look to take on the actual threat, using a scientific solution Sandy has devised.
The show also boasts original songs from a wide range of big names, including John Legend, Sara Bareilles, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Yolanda Adams, Panic! At the Disco, The Flaming Lips and They Might Be Giants. The original Broadway production picked up awards from Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle, plus a dozen Tony Award nominations.
Through May 14 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1350 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. For tickets, visit paplayers.org.