Ethan Slater is heading to
a pineapple under the sea Chicago! The newcomer will take on the role of SpongeBob Squarepants in the previously reported Broadway-aimed The SpongeBob Musical; Lilli Cooper is set to play SpongeBob’s close friend Sandy Cheeks. Co-conceived and directed by Tina Landau with a book by Kyle Jarrow and music supervision by Tom Kitt, the production will make its world premiere on June 7 at Broadway in Chicago's Oriental Theatre.
Along with Slater (Diner) and Cooper (Wicked, Spring Awakening), the cast will also feature Gaelen Gilliland, Curtis Holbrook, Stephanie Hsu, L’ogan J’ones, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Mark Ledbetter, Kelvin Moon Loh, Vasthy Mompoint, JC Schuster, Abby C. Smith and Jason Michael Snow.
The end is near. Only one sponge can save the day. But he's going to need help from some of the greatest songwriters in rock and pop music history. Along with original tunes by David Bowie and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, the musical event will include songs by Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I.
The characters will be human and are not set to don puppet type outfits as seen in Times Square. "The DNA is the same but the form is so radically different, we’re not approaching it literally," Landau told EW. "We’re not trying to take the cartoon and put it onstage. We’re trying to create a live theatrical event.”
The limited engagement is scheduled to run through July 3. Additional casting will be announced later.