Ever since everybody’s favorite pineapple-dwelling sponge premiered on television in 1999 (yes, it’s been that long), the series has risen through the ranks to become one of the most viewed and loved cartoons on network television. Today, it’s ranked up there with The Simpsons and South Park, with numbers shooting into the tens of millions of viewers per year.
While the show has been considered a kid show for much of its 18 years of existence, kids haven’t been the show’s only demographic. An estimated ⅓ of the show’s viewership is actually adults! The 2015 feature film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water opened number one on its opening weekend. It should come as no surprise (well, little surprise) that a Broadway version of the hit show is soon coming.
Though The SpongeBob Musical actually premiered in Chicago last year (and to very respectable success), it’s becoming more widely available and is set to premiere at The Palace Theater this coming December.
The show’s producers are positive that they can tap into that extensive fan base to get the play rolling into more theaters across the country. However, the largest hurdle they’re going to have to overcome is convincing viewers who are used to seeing their favorite characters in a cartoon environment and are now being portrayed by real actors in a very physical environment.
If the widespread success of the show and the feature film are any indication, there should be no issue with marketing and getting people into seats. The issue is getting people to like what they see and influence countless others to purchase tickets.
The play’s storyline focuses on a volcano that threatens life in Bikini Bottom. Artists who have contributed songs to the show include Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, John Legend, Sara Bareilles, Panic! at the Disco, T.I., The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, and They Might Be Giants.