I went to The SpongeBob Musical and here's more about the show.
The stage includes a Rube Goldberg machine on the right (there was also one on the left) which was the best part of the stage. The story line was way different than any of the SpongeBob cartoon episodes. In the center of the stage, we have the houses of Patrick, Squidward, and SpongeBob. Some of the stage lighting was facing out toward the audience, making it super bright during some of the songs. They tossed out beach balls toward the end, which the audience batted around.
Squidward was fantastic. He had his own song and dance number. He looked like Squidward - he had 4 legs like the cartoon character, to my knowledge. He talked like Squidward. And he sounded like Squidward when he walked (the squeaky sound effect).
The rest of the characters didn't sound like the cartoon characters with the exception of Patrick.
The show had a lot of music, singing and dancing, and of course comedy. There was some drama too! You get a perfect show when you combine all those thematic elements.
Gary was not played by a person, he was just a replica on a skateboard, which is a callback to an episode where Gary rides a skateboard. It's a classic joke, what pet would ride a skateboard?
It made me laugh a little bit, honestly I prefer the cartoon because of the great sound effects and it has more comedy than the stage show.
Photo credit: Billy Surges, borrowed from his Facebook page