One of Broadway’s most-anticipated musicals of the coming season is SpongeBob SquarePants, based on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon of the same name. Set to begin previews on Monday, November 6 toward an opening night scheduled for December 4, producers have already announced that Ethan Slater will star as SpongeBob SquarePants, with Gavin Lee as Squidward Q. Tentacles, Lilli Cooper as Sandy Cheeks and Danny Skinner as Patrick Star. The new musical will play Broadway’s Palace Theatre.
Joining the previously-announced actors are Brian Ray Norris as Eugene Krabs and Wesley Taylor as Sheldon Plankton. The ensemble will include Gaelen Gilliland, Juliane Godfrey, Kyle Matthew Hamilton, Curtis Holbrook, Stephanie Hsu, Jesse JP Johnson, L’oagn J’ones, Jai’len Josey, Kelvin Moon Loh, Lauralyn McClelland, Vasthy Mompoint, Oneika Phillips, Jon Rua, JC Schuster, Abby C. Smith, Robert Taylor Jr., Allan Washington, Brynn Williams, and Matt Wood.
With a book by Kyle Jarrow, the score for SpongeBob SquarePants will be composed by a wide-range of popular music’s greatest talents including Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and a song by David Bowie and by Tom Kenny and Andy Paley. Additional lyrics are provided by Jonathan Coulton and additional music by Tom Kitt (Kitt will also provide music supervision, orchestrations, and arrangements). The production, which is conceived and directed by Tina Landau, will feature choreography by Christopher Gattelli.
“Stakes are higher than ever before as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises-up and takes center stage.” SpongeBob SquarePants aspires to be an innovative musical that demonstrates how “optimism can change the world.”
Nickelodeon and Sony Masterworks Broadway have recorded the cast album of SpongeBob SquarePants and it will be available September 22.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com