SpongeBob Squarepants no longer needs to flip Krabby Patties to earn a living. The yellow sponge is heading to Broadway!
Nickelodeon announced Monday morning that The Spongebob Musical will be opening in Chicago next June before arriving on Broadway in the 2016-2017 season. The show was co-conceived and directed by Tina Landau, who previously helmed Broadway’s Bells Are Ringing and Superior Donuts.
“The SpongeBob Musical is a rousing tale of a simple sea sponge who faces the unfathomable,” according to a press release. “It’s a celebration of unbridled hope, unexpected heroes, and pure theatrical invention.”
“The end is near. Only one sponge can save the day,” the press release adds. Is this a story about an apocalypse in Bikini Bottom?
The Spongebob Musical has an impressive line-up of contributors: Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I., and David Bowie all wrote songs for the show.
In a statement, the director revealed a couple of other tidbits about her plans for the show.
“I was drawn to this project not only for its wild theatrical possibility, but also because I felt SpongeBob, at its core, is a layered and hilarious ensemble comedy,” said Landau. “SpongeBob himself is of course its center and beating heart–the eternal innocent in a sea of cynics. He’s also the classic underdog hero, and so our production sets him on a hero’s journey with real stakes, all the while retaining the show’s trippy humor and irreverence. We’re taking our leads from the TV show but this is an original story, with an original design approach, and original songs written just for the occasion by an amazing array of songwriters. We will present the world of Bikini Bottom and its characters in a whole new way that can only be achieved in the live medium of the theatre. We’re bringing the show’s fabled characters to life through actors-not prosthetics or costumes that hide them-and we’re deploying some unconventional stage craft that will prove that anything can happen in Bikini Bottom.”
SpongeBob Squarepants has been on the air since July 2001, and he and his underwater friends quickly became pop culture phenomenons. Today’s Broadway announcement shows that the franchise has no plans to slow down.
Tickets for The Spongebob Musical’s Chicago run at the Oriental Theatre will go on sale in October. No casting announcements were made today.