The SpongeBob Musical is set to premiere on June 7 in Chicago’s Oriental Theatre.
A limited engagement runs through July 3, 2016 of the show, which features live actors playing the long-running animated characters.
The show, produced by Nickelodeon, features original songs by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, They Might Be Giants and David Bowie.
Following its run in Chicago, Viacom expects the show to open in Broadway during the 2016-2017 season.
Cast members have not been announced.
“SpongeBob long ago transcended the TV screen to become a pop culture icon inspiring everyone from kids and families to artists and musicians, pro athletes, movie stars, fashion designers, social media mavens and even the President,” said Cyma Zarghami, president, Viacom Kids and Family Group. “This character has achieved a level of global popularity that we could never have imagined, and bringing him to Broadway is a way to give him a new platform, literally, to reach audiences of all ages who are looking for an engaging, funny and innovative musical theatre experience.”
The SpongeBob Musical is co-conceived and directed by Tina Landau with a book by Kyle Jarrow, music supervision by Tom Kitt.
“I was drawn to this project not only for its wild theatrical possibility, but also because I felt SpongeBob, at its core, is a layered and hilarious ensemble comedy,” said Landau. “SpongeBob himself is of course its center and beating heart--the eternal innocent in a sea of cynics. He’s also the classic underdog hero, and so our production sets him on a hero’s journey with real stakes, all the while retaining the show’s trippy humor and irreverence. We’re taking our leads from the TV show but this is an original story, with an original design approach, and original songs written just for the occasion by an amazing array of songwriters. We will present the world of Bikini Bottom and its characters in a whole new way that can only be achieved in the live medium of the theatre. We’re bringing the show’s fabled characters to life through actors—not prosthetics or costumes that hide them—and we’re deploying some unconventional stage craft that will prove that anything can happen in Bikini Bottom.”