Margaritaville and SpongeBob Headed to Broadway

Margaritaville and SpongeBob Headed to Broadway

Even as the 2016-2017 Broadway season rings down its curtain, the lights are coming up on the 2017-2018 season. Two new musicals are headed to Broadway, both unique properties that are poised to delight audiences.
With On Your Feet! vacating the Marquis Theatre this August and heading out on to separate tours, the stage won’t remain empty for long. Escape to Margaritaville, the musical featuring the iconic songs of Jimmy Buffet, will be the theatre’s new tenant. Set to open on March 15, 2018, with previews beginning on February 16, the piece will interpolate such hits as “Come Monday,” “Volcano,” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise” into an original book by Emmy-winner Greg Garcia and Emmy-nominee Mike O’Malley. The new musical will be directed by Christopher Ashley (Come From Away). Escape to Margaritaville is currently having its world premiere at the Tony-winning La Jolla Playhouse, and will come to Broadway via New Orleans, Houston, and Chicago.

“Well, going to Broadway is a dream come true, but to be coming to the Marquis is like having a great margarita with a tequila floater. If we are going to turn the island of Manhattan into Margaritaville, Times Square seems the perfect place to drop anchor after our voyage from La Jolla, New Orleans, Houston and Chicago,” said Jimmy Buffett. “I am grateful to all the wonderful people at all levels who participated in the hard work of turning a dream into reality.  It’s going to be a tropical season in New York. Fins Up!!!!”

The other new musical on its way to the Great White Way comes from the wacky and whimsical world of Nickelodeon. SpongeBob SquarePants will open on Broadway On December 4th at The Palace Theatre (Previews begin November 6th). The musical, telling an original story about that quirky sponge who “lives in a pineapple under the sea,” is conceived and directed by Tina Landau, with a book by Kyle Jarrow, orchestrations, arrangements and music supervision by Tom Kitt, and choreography by Christopher Gattelli. The cast will feature Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper, Danny Skinner, and Gavin Lee.

“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.”

The score for SpongeBob SquarePants will be a thrilling experiment in musical theatre, with each song of the musical composed by a different artist or band from the worlds of pop, rock and country music. Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of AEROSMITH, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and a song by David Bowie. Additional lyrics will be provided by Jonathan Coulton.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.