The critically-lauded and audience-favorite SpongeBob SquarePants, a Tony Award-nominee and Drama Desk winner for Best Musical, has announced that it will play its final performance on Sunday, September 16, 2018. The planned renovations of the Palace Theatre (SpongeBob SquarePants’ current home) are cited as the reason for the musical’s premature departure after 327 performances.
Good news, however, for those who are aching to take a trip to Bikini Bottom: Amateur licensing rights for the show will be available in early 2019, and a North American tour of the musical will commence in the Fall of 2019. “Our bold reimagining of SpongeBob SquarePants as a musical has been embraced by SpongeBob fans and theatre-goers alike, who experienced the wondrous life in Bikini Bottom first-hand during the Broadway engagement in New York City” said Executive Producer Susan Vargo. “It will continue absorbing audiences across the country and around the world.”
SpongeBob SquarePants, under the direction of Tina Landau, features a cast that includes Tony Award Nominee Ethan Slater as SpongeBob SquarePants, Tony Award Nominee Gavin Lee as Squidward Q. Tentacles, Lilli Cooper as Sandy Cheeks, Brian Ray Norris as Eugene Krabs, Danny Skinner as Patrick Star and Wesley Taylor as Sheldon Plankton. Brandon Espinoza, Alex Gibson, Gaelen Gilliland, Juliane Godfrey, Jordan Grubb, Kyle Matthew Hamilton, Curtis Holbrook, Jesse JP Johnson, L’ogan J’ones, Jai’len Christine Li Josey, Kelvin Moon Loh, Lauralyn McClelland, Vasthy Mompoint, Oneika Phillips, Catherine Ricafort, JC Schuster, Allysa Shorte, Abby C. Smith, Robert Taylor Jr., Allan K. Washington, Brynn Williams, Matt Wood, and Tom Kenny compose the ensemble.
SpongeBob SquarePants is a stage adaptation of the popular animated program on Nickelodeon about an idealistic sponge and his posse of friends who spread optimism and humor throughout their oceanic hometown of Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob SquarePants features a book by Kyle Jarrow, music supervision, orchestrations, and arrangements by Tom Kitt, and choreography by Christopher Gattelli. The score is made up of contributions from some of the music industry’s finest 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.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.