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Who lives in a pineapple under the sea — but is moseying over to the Great White Way?
That would be SpongeBob SquarePants, the star of Nickelodeon’s eponymous long-running cartoon — as well as two theatrical films, scores of video games, a series of comic books, and rides in theme parks from the Mall of America to Six Flags Over Texas.
Now the ocean’s friendliest quadrilateral is set to conquer another medium: the Broadway musical. He’ll have help from a long list of musical luminaries, including 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 and T.I. Oh, and David Bowie.
The SpongeBob Musical "is 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," according to a release. Nickelodeon will produce the show, which will play in Chicago next summer before moving to Broadway for the 2016-2017 season.
The show will aim to preserve everything that’s made SpongeBob an indelible character in children’s media since his debut on Nick in 1999. “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," director Tina Landau said in a statement.
"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," Landau added.
"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."
Sounds pretty F-U-N.
Tickets for SpongeBob‘s Chicago run go on sale in October; the show will run in the Windy City from June 7 to July 3, 2016. Its cast has yet to be announced. New episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants return to Nickelodeon Sept. 7.
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