Earlier this month I compared The SpongeBob Musical to Lil' Abner. Both involve a collection of cartoon characters fighting to save their town from destruction. There are some key differences. The villains drive the plot in Lil' Abner. Abner himself has little to do. He's mostly along for the ride. In The Spongebob Musical there is no chief antagonist. The threat to the town is an active volcano. Spongebob and Sandy go off on a Lord of the Rings-style journey to drop a machine inside the volcano and stop the eruption.
The SpongeBob Musical recently closed their Chicago tryout. Reviews were positive and a Broadway transfer may be announced soon. Many praised Ethan Slater's lead performance and Gavin Lee's 11'o clock tap number. Others pointed out that the show was too long for the target audience. Any rewrites before the transfer may prove challenging. The score is written by a collection of pop composers. Cutting any superfluous songs would involve removing a composer's name from the marquee.