'The SpongeBob Musical' to Premiere in Chicago Next Summer

SpongeBob Squarepants is headed to the stage in "The SpongeBob Musical," a Broadway-bound production that will feature original work from musical talents like Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, 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.

According to Deadline, "The SpongeBob Musical" will premiere in Chicago late next spring at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre on July 7, 2016 and run through July 3. After that, it will head to Broadway with an anticipated 2016-2017 season.

The musical's official description reads: “The end is near. 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 SpongeBob Musical' unleashes anarchic absurdity under the sea… and on Broadway. A rousing tale of a simple sea sponge who faces the unfathomable. It’s a celebration of unbridled hope, unexpected heroes and pure theatrical invention.”

“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,” explained director Tina Landau. “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."

“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 theater," she added.

In addition to directing, Landau co-conceived the project. Kyle Jarrow will pen the book with music supervision from Tom Kitt. David Zinn will oversee sets and costumes with lighting by Kevin Adams, projections by Peter Nigrini and sound by Walter Trarbach. Nickelodean will produce.

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