Who would have thought that a television show about a cartoon sponge would end up being a new musical? Certainly not me. But SpongeBob Squarepants (formerly called The SpongeBob Musical) will take its Broadway bow this fall at the Palace Theater. I watched several behind the scenes videos, listened to some songs, and looked at pictures to give my reaction to the show.
One thing that stuck out to me was that the actors are moving around the set in many different ways. There are bikes and skateboards, and they utilize different styles of dance from hip-hop to tap, as well as other skills such as juggling.
Unlike most shows, where a few people collaborate on the music and lyrics, this production features music from some of the biggest artists right now, including Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Lady Antebellum, and Sara Bareilles. From the songs I was able to hear bits of, they are all different but in a way that works in a show, without feeling too forced. As well as allowing you to see different sides to different characters through the songs.
From set pictures and descriptions, it is very obvious to tell that you are meant to feel like you're in Bikini Bottom. Things that are a part of the set look like they could have sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
One very important aspect of the show is that it's not based off of one particular episode of the show, and the story is completely original. This likely allows the creators to take the characters and create a story that lends itself to the world they live in.
SpongeBob had his tryout at the Oriental Theater in Chicago last summer and will begin previews in New York on November 6th with an official opening set for December 4th. Tickets are now on sale here.