Following its run on Broadway, members of the original Broadway company of The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! reunited to film the show for television in front of a live theatre audience. The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! will air on Nickelodeon December 7. In the video above, original Tony-nominated star Ethan Slater and director Tina Landau tell audiences what to expect from this version of the Bikini Bottom-based tale.
“I feel like there’s all these different versions of SpongeBob floating around in the universe, and this one I’m particularly excited about and proud of because it’s the original gang,” shared director Tina Landau.
As previously announced, much of the original company reprised their performances, including Tony Award nominee Ethan Slater, who made his Broadway debut as the titular high-energy sponge. Joining him are fellow original Broadway company members Tony nominee Gavin Lee as Squidward Q. Tentacles, Danny Skinner as Patrick Star, Brian Ray Norris as Eugene Krabs, and Wesley Taylor as Sheldon Plankton, and Christina Sajous (who joined the Broadway cast six months into the run) as Sandy Cheeks.
Rounding out the ensemble are 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.
“There’s actually some bonuses in the version of this show that have never been seen before that he does, physically, in particular,” says Landau of Slater.
“That was the exciting thing about coming back!” Slater says above.
Veteran SpongeBob SquarePants voice actor Tom Kenny—who voiced the animated SpongeBob, French narrator, and Patchy the Pirate—will perform the original Sara Bareilles song “Poor Pirates” onstage as Patchy the Pirate.
“I’ve had a blast portraying live-action suburban buccaneer and President of the SpongeBob SquarePants Fan Club, Patchy the Pirate, since the character’s first appearance in Season 2 of SpongeBob SquarePants—way back in 2000,” said Kenny in a statement. “I loved The SpongeBob Musical, and I was thrilled to be included in it both in pre-recorded (French Narrator) and songwriter (‘Best Day Ever’) forms! But to now have the opportunity to actually step onstage and perform alongside members of the original Broadway production is truly a unique honor. It’s ‘meta times 10,’ and I think Nickelodeon’s audience will really get a kick out of it!”
The show, re-branded as The SpongeBob Musical for its national tour, features a book by Kyle Jarrow and an eclectic score from a variety of pop artists: Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander 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., as well as the late David Bowie, Tom Kenny (TV's original SpongeBob), and Andy Paley.
Tina Landau directed the inventive and unconventional staging, which offered human representations of the beloved characters rather than literal depictions from the familiar cartoon. The TV presentation reunites her with her Broadway creative team: music supervisor and orchestrator Tom Kitt, choreographer Christopher Gattelli, set and costume designer David Zinn, lighting designer Kevin Adams, projection designer Peter Nigrini, foley artist Mike Dobson, and sound designer Walter Trarbach.
The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! is produced for TV by Austin Shaw and directed by Glenn Weiss. Nickelodeon vice presidents Paul J Medford and Susan Vargo serve as executive producers.