The Broadway stars and director of 2017’s multiple-Tony-nominated SpongeBob SquarePants musical will re-team on Nickelodeon this December, Nickelodeon announced today. Filmed for TV in front of a live theater audience, The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! will star, among other original cast members, Broadway’s Tony-nominated Ethan Slater and Gavin Lee.
Directed by Broadway’s Tina Landau (herself Tony nominated for the show), The SpongeBob Musical features Slater in the title role, with Lee as Squidward Q. Tentacles.
“I’m so thrilled to be able to revisit the show in a new light and with our original cast members,” Landau said in a statement. “The whole creative and I are excited to go back into the world of Bikini Bottom and discover its new life in TV broadcast form. But above all, I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share the joy and spirit of our show with a wider audience. That’s what matters most to me – the joy.”
Said Rob Bagshaw, Executive Vice President of Nickelodeon Live Action Unscripted and Live Events: “What better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants than to bring this wildly imaginative Broadway musical to Nickelodeon for a wider audience. We could not be more excited that fans and families of all ages will now have the opportunity to experience live actors portraying these beloved characters in a whole new way with The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage!”
In addition to Slater and Lee, the production’s cast will include Danny Skinner as Patrick Star, Brian Ray Norris as Eugene Krabs, Wesley Taylor as Sheldon Plankton, and Christina Sajous as Sandy Cheeks.
The ensemble will include Kyle Matthew Hamilton, Katie Lee Hill, Curtis Holbrook, L’ogan J’ones, Jai’len Josey, Kelvin Moon Loh, Lauralyn McClelland, Vasthy Mompoint, Bryonha Parham, Oneika Phillips, Jon Rua, JC Schuster, Abby C. Smith, Robert Taylor Jr. and Allan Washington.
Additional casting, along with airdate and other programming information, will be announced at a later date.
Widely acclaimed by critics, the Broadway staging premiered at the Palace Theatre in December 2017, closing September 16, 2018 after earning 12 Tony nominations. Set designer David Zinn won the award for his elaborate, flamboyant stage creations. A North American tour is currently underway.
Bypassing look-alike costumes for (slightly) more realistic dress, the musical features songs by a wide variety of artists including Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At The Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I. (Clifford Harris, Jr.), David Bowie, Domani Harris and Darwin Quinn, Tom Kenny and Andy Paley. Jonathan Coulton provides additional lyrics, with additional music by Tom Kitt.
The made-for-Broadway plot has SpongeBob and the rest of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage.
The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! is a musical production conceived and directed for the stage by Tina Landau, book by Kyle Jarrow, orchestrations, arrangements & music supervision by Tom Kitt, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, produced for television by Austin Shaw with television direction by Glenn Weiss.
Nickelodeon’s Vice Presidents Paul J Medford and Susan Vargo serve as Executive Producers, alongside Senior Vice President of Music & Talent Doug Cohn and is executive produced and overseen by Executive Vice President of Unscripted and Live Events Rob Bagshaw.
For Deadline’s Tony Watch interview with Slater, go here, and for our chat with Lee, go here.
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