The world’s yellowest, goofiest sea sponge is about to take on Broadway with the new SpongeBob SquarePants musical, slated to debut next year. That would be news enough for most fans of the series (who, according to Spotify user data, include lots and lots of parents), but the show’s music will be provided by a lineup of artists that wouldn’t be out of place on Coachella’s main stage: David Bowie, the Flaming Lips, Aerosmith, Dirty Projectors, They Might Be Giants, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, T.I., Panic At The Disco, Lady Antebellum, and Jonathan Coulton — among others.
The show will be testing the waters (sorry, had to) in Chicago June 7 through July 3 before moving the Great White Way for a late 2016-early 2017 run. Directed by Steppenwolf veteran Tina Landau and written by Brooklyn art rocker/playwright Kyle Jarrow, the show will be “a rousing tale of a simple sea sponge who faces the unfathomable,” according to the press release. So, while the finer plot points and casting remain a mystery, fans can at least expect more than a few seafaring puns.
This actually won’t be Bowie’s first dive into Bikini Bottom: He voiced a character in the 2007 film SpongeBob’s Atlantis SquarePantis, playing the prince of the lost city of Atlantis. That one was less “Space Oddity,” and more sea oddity, and time will tell if the Thin White Duke still likes the water.