×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Musical Targets Broadway with Supergroup Songlist

He’s ready: SpongeBob SquarePants, the massive Nickelodeon property with a fanbase that reaches well beyond its target kiddie demographic, will go from Bikini Bottom to Broadway in “The SpongeBob Musical,” premiering in Chicago in the summer of 2016 prior to a New York opening during the 2016-17 Broadway season.

Produced by Nickelodeon, the project has attracted a who’s who of contemporary music names to contribute original songs to the show, including Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (of Aerosmith), the Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper (already a Tony winner for “Kinky Boots”) and David Bowie.

The musical is co-conceived and directed by Tina Landau, the writer-director (and member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater) whose Broadway work has included “Superior Donuts” and “Bells Are Ringing.” The book is by Kyle Jarrow, who co-created “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant” and has worked with Duncan Sheik on “Whisper House” and “Noir” (getting a showcase this fall as part of the National Alliance for Musical Theater’s 2015 festival).

Tom Kitt, the composer who won a Pulitzer for “Next to Normal,” serves as musical supervisor, working with a contributing group of well-known musicians that also includes Dirty Projectors, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T’s, T.I., Jonathan Coulton and They Might Be Giants. Coulton, best known for the songs he composed for the “Portal” series of videogames, also pens additional lyrics.

The design team will include “Fun Home” alumnus David Zinn (sets and costumes), four-time Tony winner Kevin Adams (lights) and Peter Nigrini (sound).

Not much is known about the plot of the upcoming musical, except that in it SpongeBob, the chipper yellow fellow whose absurdist undersea adventures have been chronicled in the TV series “SpongeBob SquarePants” and in two feature films, will save the day.

“SpongeBob” seems a potentially good bet for Broadway, thanks to an internationally recognized, family-friendly brand and a four-quadrant demographic of enthusiasts that encompasses kids, their parents and stoners of all ages. The most recent feature film, “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” dominated the U.S. box office when it was released in February.

“The SpongeBob Musical” begins previews at Chicago’s Oriental Theater June 7, 2016, for a limited engagement that runs July 3. Casting, as well as Broadway dates and timeline, remain to be set.

More Legit

  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge

    Listen: How Phoebe Waller-Bridge Shocked Herself With 'Fleabag'

    Both onstage and onscreen, the title character in “Fleabag” says things that are pretty outrageous — even to Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the woman who created her. Listen to this week’s podcast below: Known to television audiences as the creator of Amazon’s “Fleabag” as well as BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” Waller-Bridge is making her New York stage [...]

  • Emilia review

    West End Review: 'Emilia'

    We know next to nothing of the “Dark Lady of the Sonnets” — nothing beyond what Shakespeare tells us in 26 stanzas of overblown verse. Her eyes were nothing like the sun, of course – “raven black,” so he claims – and her lips were either paler than coral, as in Sonnet 130, or else [...]

  • Guys and Dolls

    'Guys and Dolls' Getting Remade at TriStar (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Guys and Dolls,” the venerable Broadway musical, is set to return to the big screen. TriStar Pictures has purchased remake rights to the original Damon Runyon short stories about gamblers and gangsters that inspired the shows, as well as the rights to the Broadway musical with its book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows and [...]

  • Sutton Foster

    Sutton Foster Starring Opposite Hugh Jackman in Broadway's 'The Music Man'

    “The Music Man” has found its Marian, the librarian. Sutton Foster, the two-time Tony Award winner, will star opposite Hugh Jackman in the upcoming revival of “The Music Man.” She will play Marian Paroo, a small-town librarian who is initially immune to Professor Harold Hill’s charms. It’s a role that was previously performed by the [...]

  • 'Black Super Hero Magic Mama' Review

    L.A. Theater Review: 'Black Super Hero Magic Mama'

    What function do superhero stories play in American society? Are they merely escapist distractions for head-in-the-clouds teens, or could those same formats actually serve a practical function, providing useful tools for everyday life? Recognizing these comic book fantasies as by far the dominant form of contemporary mythmaking for a generation of young people, emerging playwright [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content