Cartoon superstar SpongeBob SquarePants is headed to a Chicago stage on his way to Broadway, and he's bringing a dozen major pop-music stars with him. The SpongeBob Musical, based on the animated Nickelodeon hit and conceived by Steppenwolf ensemble member Tina Landau and Kyle Jarrow (A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant), will play Chicago's Oriental Theatre June 7–July 3 ahead of an expected Broadway opening in the 2016–17 season.
First announced at Nickelodeon's February upfront with Landau's name already attached, The SpongeBob Musical will feature original songs by a raft of top pop and rock names. The eclectic roster includes Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, David Bowie, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, T.I. and They Might Be Giants. Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) serves as music supervisor.