SpongeBob SquarePants is making its way to Broadway. According to Entertainment Weekly, a musical based on the popular long-running Nickelodeon series will debut in June 2016 in Chicago, with a move to New York planned after that. Director Tina Landau and music supervisor Tom Kitt have arranged for a bunch of big names to contribute original songs, including David Bowie (who previously voiced a character in an episode of the show in 2007), Dirty Projectors, the Flaming Lips, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, T.I., Jonathon Coulton, They Might Be Giants, Panic! At The Disco, Plain White T’s, and Lady Antebellum.
“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,” director Landau said in a statement. “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.”
“The innovation [Landau] is bringing to the staging is matched with an equally fun and surprising set of original songs we’ve culled from a dream team of SpongeBob fans who happen to be top-flight musical artists,” Nickelodeon’s president of content development and production Russell Hicks added.
SpongeBob’s last music-related endeavor was for the feature-length film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water, which featured several new tracks from a reunited N.E.R.D.