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SpongeBob SquarePants Musical To Debut In Chicago

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 2, 2015 5:22AM

Prepare yourself Chicago, we're getting a SpongeBob SquarePants musical next year. News of the musical's existence broke earlier this year, but this is the first we're getting full details on it, including it's Chicago launch.

Variety reports the show will launch Summer of 2016 with its eyes on a Broadway debut the following theater season. So why is land-locked Chicago getting first dibs on the story that takes place in a pineapple under the sea? Probably because one of the show's creators is Steppenwolf Theater's Tina Landau, who initially made her name in the Chicago scene with Bug, August: Osage County and Superior Donuts. The latter two went on to Broadway runs.

The book is by Kyle Jarrow, who is best known for A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, an Off-Broadway award winning satirical musical about L Ron Hubbard that first saw a Chicago run at Red Orchid Theater on 2008. Musical director Tom Kitt brings a bit of rock and roll to the production with experience composing the music for the stage version of High Fidelity and as the music supervisor and orchestrator of Green Day's American Idiot productions.

The show will feature original songs from a stunningly diverse range of contributors. Considering the cinematic SpongeBob soundtrack attracted a pretty hipster-heavy bevy of bands along for the ride in 2004 this isn't completely surprising. Musicians seems to love SongeBob. For this version it's reported that contributors will include Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, John Legend, Lady Antebellum and Cyndi Lauper. And of course the Flaming Lips because what aren't they contributing music to lately. What is surprising is the news that David Bowie will be contributing music, and given how we feel about Bowie that news alone has us doing backflips.

The SpongeBob SquarePants musical begins previews at the Oriental Theater on June 7, 2016. News of tickets and casting hasn't been announced yet but we'll keep you updated when they are.