SpongeBob SquarePants:The Broadway Musical officially opens at the Palace Theatre in New York on Dec. 4, but this weekend (on Nov. 19), NY-based CalArts alumni gather for a preview show with Institute President Ravi Rajan, SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg (Film/Video MFA 92), trustee Karen Hillenburg and alumni ambassador Mark Osborne (Film/Video BFA 92).
Conceived and directed by acclaimed Steppenwolf director Tina Landau and brought to life by the award-winning designers behind Fun Home, Hedwig and Spring Awakening, the musical marks the next chapter for the pop culture phenomenon created by animator and former marine biologist Hillenburg.
Featuring original songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, The Flaming Lips, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend and others—as well as a posthumous song from David Bowie—the show finds SpongeBob and the denizens of Bikini Bottom faced with the imminent threat of an erupting volcano.
As theatre critic Chris Jones wrote in the Chicago Tribune, where the musical opened last summer, SpongeBob SquarePants is “Beautifully visualized, deliciously quirky and inarguably unique. It might just be the yellow tonic that Broadway needs.”
Launched in July 1999 as Nickelodeon’s first original Saturday-morning cartoon, SpongeBob SquarePants follows the aquatic adventures of an ever-optimistic sea sponge and his undersea pals. The most widely distributed property in Viacom history, it has been seen in more than 208 countries, translated into more than 55 languages, and reigned as the most-watched animated television program for kids age 2-11 for more than 15 consecutive years.
Check out a behind-the-scenes video from Broadway in Chicago below:
— by Katie Dunham
SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical Opens on Broadway
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