He’s been a hapless hero of the small and big screens, and now Spongebob SquarePants is about to try his luck on stage. “The end is near,” reads Monday’s press announcement of The SpongeBob Musical, bound for Chicago and Broadway. “Only one sponge can save the day. But he’s going to need help from some of the greatest songwriters in rock and pop music history.”
The new musical adaptation of the beloved Nickelodeon series, which will launch a run next June 7 at Broadway In Chicago’s Oriental Theatre — with plans to arrive in New York for the 2016-17 season — will feature original songs by John Legend, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Panic! At The Disco, T.I., Lady Antebellum, They Might Be Giants, Tony Award winner Cyndi Lauper and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, among others. Jonathan Coulton, another contributor, will provide additional lyrics.
Tom Kitt of If/Then and Next To Normal fame will serve as musical supervisor, with Kyle Jarrow providing the book and acclaimed director Tina Landau helming.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Landau added, “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 … We will present the world of Bikini Bottom and its characters in a whole new way.”