Connect with us

The set looks like a neon multi-colored version of the game mousetrap, combined with a mushroom-induced version of an oceanic Alice in Wonderland. The costumes are straight out of the most creative, gaudy imagination imaginable. Everything, plus the kitchen sink, has been thrown on stage by the fabulous David Zinn. Chalk up Tony #1.

Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants the musical

Ethan Slater Photo by Joan Marcus

SpongeBob SquarePants The Broadway Musical is wildly inventive, creatively insane, visually eye-popping, and one of the most entertaining original new musicals to hit Broadway in a long time. Conceived and directed by Tina Landau, this show is so stupid, it actually works. Chalk up Tony #2.

Danny Skinner, Ethan Slater

Danny Skinner, Ethan Slater Photo by Joan Marcus

If you have not watched the immensely popular cartoon of the same name, you may not know SpongeBob lives in a pineapple under the sea, but by the time the show is finished, Ethan Slater – the agile young man who plays the title character – will have you knowing that like Ben Platt last year, this is a star winning performance. Chalk up Tony #3. Slater is remarkable with his signature arms swaying, high-flying leaps, vocals, and athletic gymnastics that even without a sponge costume he makes this part squarely his own. Like Platt, this is Slater’s Broadway debut.

Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper, Ethan Slater

Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper, Ethan Slater Photo by Joan Marcus

It is an ordinary Bikini Bottom day in this colorful enchanting world. SpongeBob, who loves working at Mr. Krabs’ (Brian Ray Norris), wants to be the manager and can’t understand why nobody sees him as anything but just a sponge. Suddenly, life as he knows it turns apocalyptic when a volcano threatens to destroy the town. The evil Plankton (the hilarious Wesley Taylor) and his sidekick, Karen the computer (Stephanie Hsu), see this disaster as a way to put Mr. Krabs out of business. However, SpongeBob, his best friend Patrick (Danny Skinner) – a dim-witted starfish – and Sandy (Lilli Cooper) – a scientific, karate-chopping squirrel from Texas – step in to save the day, despite friendships being tested, citizens who see this as a way to exploit the disaster for easy cash, as well as, governmental and media manipulation. Mount Humongous, the volcano that is about to erupt, is created by using an intricate series of intertwining ladders and cardboard boxes. The multi-story set is enhanced by remarkable projection design from Peter Nigrini and lighting by Kevin Adams. Chalk up Tony #4 and 5. In the end, this crazy musical has a moralistic humanitarian message hidden amongst this ingenious, wacky production.

My favorite moments include when the sardines form a religious cult to worship Patrick. “Super Sea Star Savior,” a rousing gospel number by Yolanda Adams, is an homage to “Our Favorite Son” from Will Rodgers Follies.

Gavin Lee

Gavin Lee Photo by Joan Marcus

Squidward Q. Tentacles (Gavin Lee), SpongeBob’s next-door neighbor and co-worker at the Krusty Krab, dreams of playing his clarinet and performing on a large stage. “I’m Not a Loser” by They Might Be Giants brings this four-legged octopus tapping up a storm with the sea urchins sparkling and kicking up a sea full of bubbles. Chalk up Tony #6 for this show-stopping number and Mr. Lee. Christopher Gattelli has done some of his best work here. His choreography is an homage to Tommy Tune, Busby Berkeley, Kenny Ortega, Michael Bennett and Gower Champion. Chalk up Tony #7.

Gavin Lee

Gavin Lee Photo by Joan Marcus

The cast is all spectacular. Other standouts include Gaelen Gilliland as The Mayor, Kelvin Moon Loh as the paranoid reporter, Perch Perkins, and eighteen-year-old Jai’Len Christie Li Josey as Krab’s daughter, Pearl, who gives a whaling vocal performance. Altogether there are ten Broadway debuts, which goes to tell you, if you want a powerful, uber-talented cast, go out of the box.

The quirky book written by Kyle Jarrow is a kick and has more to say than you think.

The music list is impressive with The Flaming Lips, Cyndi Lauper, Steven Tyler, David Bowie, Panic! at the Disco, Brian Eno, Plain White T’s, Lady Antebellum, Sara Bareilles, John Legend and more. I can see Cyndi Lauper’s “Hero Is My Middle Name”, Plain White T’s “BFF”, and John Legend’s “(I Guess I) Miss You” standing on their own in cabaret’s, auditions, and possibly outside the theatre world. Tom Kitt adds additional music and orchestrations. Chalk up Tony #8. Walter Trarbach’s sound design is without a doubt the best I have ever heard. Each character has their own sound and it is truly remarkable. Chalk up Tony #9.

SpongeBob SquarePants the Broadway Musical is just the show we need in this season where most of the shows on and off Broadway have just been mediocre. If there ever was a time we needed entertainment and a world that makes us step outside our own it’s now. SpongeBob SquarePants has you leaving the theatre with a smile on your face and knowing you got your money’s worth. I expect this show, like The Producers, to take home many statuettes.

The SpongeBob SquarePants the Broadway Musical: The Palace Theater

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:


And The Winners of The 2023 Drama Desk Awards Are ………



The 2023 67th Drama Desk Awards, honoring artistic excellence on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway, will take place on June 6 at Sardi’s Restaurant. Today the winners were announced.

Outstanding Play: “Leopoldstadt,” by Tom Stoppard

Outstanding Musical: “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Revival of a Play: “The Piano Lesson”

Outstanding Revival of a Musical: “Parade”

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play: Jessica Chastain, “A Doll’s House” and Sean Hayes, “Good Night, Oscar”

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical: Annaleigh Ashford, “Sweeney Todd”
and J. Harrison Ghee, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play: Miriam Silverman, “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window,” Brooklyn Academy of Music and Brandon Uranowitz, “Leopoldstadt”

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical: Kevin Del Aguila, “Some Like it Hot” and Alex Newell, “Shucked”

Outstanding Direction of a Play: Max Webster, “Life of Pi”

Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Thomas Kail, “Sweeney Todd”

Outstanding Choreography: Casey Nicholaw, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Music: Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, “Shucked”

Outstanding Lyrics: Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Book of a Musical: Matthew López and Amber Ruffin, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Orchestrations: Charlie Rosen and Bryan Carter, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Music in a Play: Suzan-Lori Parks, “Plays for the Plague Year,” The Public Theater

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play: Tim Hatley, “Life of Pi”

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical: Beowulf Boritt, “New York, New York”

Outstanding Costume Design of a Play: Emilio Sosa, “Ain’t No Mo’”

Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical: Gregg Barnes, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Play: Natasha Chivers and Willie Williams (video), “Prima Facie”

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical: Natasha Katz, “Sweeney Todd”

Outstanding Projection and Video Design: Andrzej Goulding, “Life of Pi”

Outstanding Sound Design of a Play: Ben & Max Ringham, “A Doll’s House”

Outstanding Sound Design of a Musical: Scott Lehrer and Alex Neumann, “Into the Woods”

Outstanding Wig and Hair: Mia M. Neal, “Ain’t No Mo’”

Outstanding Solo Performance: Jodie Comer, “Prima Facie”

Unique Theatrical Experience: “Peter Pan Goes Wrong”

Outstanding Fight Choreography: B.H. Barry, “Camelot”

Outstanding Adaptation: “A Doll’s House,” by Amy Herzog

Outstanding Puppetry: Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell, “Life of Pi”

Shows with multiple wins

Some Like It Hot: 8

Life of Pi: 4

A Doll’s House: 3

Sweeney Todd: 3

Ain’t No Mo’: 2

Leopoldstadt: 2

Prima Facie: 2

Shucked: 2

Special Awards

Harold Prince Lifetime Achievement Award

Stephen McKinley Henderson has been bringing in-depth, gripping portrayals of memorable characters to the stage for over four decades. With his return to Broadway this season as Pops in “Between Riverside and Crazy,” which the Drama Desk previously nominated in 2015, this year’s Harold Prince Lifetime Achievement Award marks Henderson’s role in this powerful production as a celebration of his brilliant career.

Ensemble Award

The cast of Soho Rep’s “Public Obscenities” – Tashnuva Anan, Abrar Haque, Golam Sarwar Harun, Gargi Mukherjee, NaFis, Jakeem Dante Powell, and Debashis Roy Chowdhury – embodied the transnational world of Shayok Misha Chowdhury’s bilingual play with memorable authenticity, remarkable specificity, and extraordinary warmth.

Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award

From his standout performance in american (tele)visions, to writing and performing the autobiographical “Dark Disabled Stories,” Ryan J. Haddad’s work this season has expanded on and interrogated what the idea of “accessibility” really means. Whether riding a shopping cart like a throne, or relating his experiences on a “gay, pink bus,” Haddad shared with audiences an unabashed queer fabulosity that was both unforgettable and deeply human.

Continue Reading


Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Remembering Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd



On Sunday look for a brand new charcuterie of Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford in Sweeney Todd..  I loved the new production, and it’s two leads.

I saw the original with Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou, which was also a favorite. I think it’s Sondheim’s greatest work.
Here is my drawing of Angela as Mrs. Lovett, to salute the original.
Continue Reading


League of Professional Theatre Women’s 10th Annual Women Stage The World March



 The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) will hold its 10th Annual “Women Stage the World March”  — a Suffragette-inspired project to educate the public about the role of women in the theatre industry — on Saturday, June 17.   The march will begin at noon, at Shubert Alley and weave through Times Square and the Broadway Theatre District, wrapping up at about 2 p.m.

“The event is FREE and LPTW invites all theatre women and allies to join us as we increase awareness, lift our voices, and advocate for more opportunities for women in theatre,” said Ludovica Villar-Hauser, Co-President of LPTW.

“The Women Stage the World March is designed to educate the public about the role women play in creating theatre and the barriers they face as men continue to outnumber women by 4 to 1 in key roles such as playwright, director and designers.  Women buy 67% of the tickets and represent 65% of the audience, yet 80% of the storytelling on stage is shaped by men’s voices,” said Katrin Hilbe, Co-President of LPTW.

Handouts during the March will prompt ticket-buyers to ask three questions as they make buying decisions: (1) Who wrote, directed and designed this play? (2) What is this theatre’s track record in giving opportunities to women? (3) How can you spread the word and promote women’s voices?

“All participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite historical theatre woman, or dress all in white.  March participants will gather at Shubert Alley starting at 11:30 AM, in preparation for the start of the march at noon.   Women Stage the World sashes and signs will be provided, as supplies last,” noted Penelope Deen, LPTW member and organizer of the event. Those interested in participating in the event please R.S.V.P. at: or contact Penelope Deen at:

LPTW Co-President Ludovica Villar-Hauser added:  “The League of Professional Theatre Women stands alongside the Writers Guild of America (WGA) as they demand fair wages and take action to ensure more protections for artists. We encourage LPTW members to find a time to join the WGA on the picket lines this month as the strike continues.  Women writers are the future of the film and television industry, just as they lead the way in theatre.  LPTW supports the women on the frontlines of this movement as they call for long overdue change. We are stronger together.”

For the past 10 years LPTW members, affiliated union members, theatre artists and their allies have hit the streets in a March reminiscent of the Suffragette parades of the early 20th Century, with some marchers dressed in traditional suffrage garb and colors. ​ Like the Suffragettes before them, participants in the Women Stage the World March empower women and men to become aware, take action and influence others.

The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) is a membership organization championing women in theatre and advocating for increased equity and access for all theatre women. Our programs and initiatives create community, cultivate leadership, and increase opportunities and recognition for women working in theatre. The organization provides support, networking and collaboration mechanisms for members, and offers professional development and educational opportunities for all theatre women and the general public.  LPTW celebrates the historic contributions and contemporary achievements of women in theatre, both nationally and around the globe, and advocates for parity in employment, compensation and recognition for women theatre practitioners through industry-wide initiatives and public policy proposals.   LPTW is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2023.

Continue Reading


Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Chicago



John Kander & Fred Ebb / Bob Fosse musical Chicago is now the longest running show playing on Broadway. Having played 10,338 performances, Chicago is the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical playing at the Ambassador Theatre, 219 W. 49th St., NYC.

Continue Reading


Ham4Ham: Some Like It Hot, Parade and Shucked With Special Guests



Lin-Manuel Miranda brought out a. special edition of Ham4Ham outside the Richard Rodgers Theater yesterday and it was a star studded afternoon.

J Harrison Ghee

First up Leopoldstadt stars Josh Molina and Brandon Uranowitz introduced Some Like It Hot‘s J. Harrison Ghee, who performed “You Coulda Knocked Me Over With a Feather” accompanied by the show’s composer, Marc Shaiman. You can watch the beginning of this and the whole performance of that song here.

The crowds

Then Nikki Crawford and playwright James Ijames from Fat Ham, introduced composer Jason Robert Brown and performers Ben Platt and Michaela Diamond who perform the duet “This Is Not Over Yet” from the must see revival of Parade.

The Thanksgiving Play stars D’Arcy Carden and Chris Sullivan introduced book writer Robert Horn and the Tony-nominated cast of Shucked recreated new lyrics for “We Love Jesus” and a parody of Hamilton‘s “The Story of Tonight.”led by Ashley D. Kelley, Grey Henson, Andrew Durand and Kevin Cahoon

This was a spectacular afternoon that can only be had in NYC.

Kevin Cahoon

T2c would love to thank these three ladies who gave us a chair to sit on.


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles