SpongeBob Squarepants is coming to the stage, in a new musical titled (you guessed it) The SpongeBob Musical that will debut in Chicago this June.
Ethan Slater, a stage newcomer, will portray the titular character, while Tina Landau will direct after co-conceiving the story, according to EW. Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, Plankton and Mr. Krabs will all be portrayed by human actors, as The SpongeBob Musical eschewed the puppet route to bring the Nickelodeon series to life.
“We brought in different age groups and were most worried they were going to say, ‘But he’s not square!’” Landau recalls. “The main response was, ‘We finally got to see him in real life.’ They loved it. They felt they were getting to spend time with him in his authentic form.”
The SpongeBob Musical comes to Chicago's Oriental Theatre for a June 7 world premiere, and a limited engagement run kicks off on July 3. A Broadway run is expected for the 2016-17 season.