Get ready to see Bikini Bottom reimagined for a real-life stage, because a SpongeBob SquarePants musical is gunning for Broadway next summer. Appropriately dubbed The SpongeBob Musical, the production will follow the titular sponge and feature original numbers by such big-time music names as David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, The Flaming Lips, and T.I. (What’s right is right.) Theater vets will lead the project, including Tina Landau, who will direct; Kyle Jarrow, who’s on book duty; and Tom Kitt, who will supervise music. “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,” Landau said in a statement released by Nickelodeon, which is producing the musical. “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 theater. We’re bringing the show’s fabled characters to life through actors — not prosthetics or costumes that hide them.”
Casting has not been finalized. Full plot details are unavailable at the moment, but, according to Nickelodeon, the show will feature an original story that promises to hew close to the source material. (Think your classic absurdist-underdog story, plus all the colorful humor and irreverence that has made SpongeBob such an ageless hit.) The SpongeBob Musical will go to Chicago’s Oriental Theatre first for a limited Midwest run, from June 7, 2016 to July 3, 2016. Then, producers hope SpongeBob and friends will find their footing on an East Coast stage sometime during Broadway’s 2016–2017 season. Tickets for Chicago go on sale this October. Excited? Don’t blame you. Or maybe you’re wondering, Will anything be able to even come close to the latest movie’s soundtrack?
Oh my Neptune, 2016, you can’t come soon enough. (Because we need to know ASAP. And Pharrell, it might not be too late.)