'Spongebob Squarepants' Musical Is Coming & You Won't Believe The Musicians Involved
Hey, wanna hear something weird? SpongeBob SquarePants the musical. Just getting you used to the sound of it, because it's not only real, but it's coming to Broadway pretty soon. The production is currently being pulled together, readying for a premiere in Chicago in Summer 2016, with a planned move to New York for an opening during the 2016 - 2017 Broadway season. So start clearing your schedule and planning which of your friends' kids you can borrow as an excuse to go see it — that is, if you haven't already reserved them for the live-action SpongeBob movie — because it sounds like the real deal. But also make sure to leave yourself some time between the scheming and kidnap-plotting to grapple with some of the epically weird names associated with "The SpongeBob Musical" so far, because there are some real doozies here.
On the list of musicians currently set to contribute original songs to the show are Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, of Aerosmith fame, the Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, and David Bowie. It's like someone somewhere was playing a game of Celebrity, and decided to cobble together a musical with the first seven random slips of paper they pulled out of the hat.
I'm sure this is gonna be great, because there isn't an untalented name among them, but how is there gonna be a thru-line that pulls this whole thing together? No matter how I tilt my head at this list, I can't see one thing that everyone involved has in common. Lauper at least has some prior experience writing musicals, as she won a Tony for her work on "Kinky Boots," and director Tina Landau and Kyle Jarrow, who wrote the book, have more than enough Broadway experience to carry the project and convince me they know what they're doing. However, the rest of this rag-tag gang of awesomeness just kind of washed up on shore and is gonna wing it, I guess? I for real am so baffled by the crowd we're working with here that I can't focus on anything else.
And this is, of course, before we even get into casting! The musical won't begin previews until Jun. 7, 2016 at Chicago's Oriental Theater, so there's plenty of time for producers to throw us for even more of a loop by casting Dame Maggie Smith as SpongeBob, opposite Johnny Knoxville and Saoirse Ronan as Squidward and Patrick, respectively. Why am I so excited to see something that's already wreaking such havoc on my brain?? I guess that's just the Spongebob effect.