SpongeBob SquarePants begins performances on Broadway

Tina Landau's SpongeBob musical debuts at the Palace Theatre.

Danny Skinner, Ethan Slater & Lilli Cooper in SpongeBob SquarePants

Broadway's Palace Theatre - now transformed into a "pineapple under the sea", no less - opens its doors this evening for the first Broadway preview of SpongeBob SquarePants, ahead of an official opening on December 4, 2017.

The Nickelodeon musical, conceived and directed by Tina Landau, features a book by Kyle Jarrow and original songs provided by a host of popular artists including Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., with an additional song by David Bowie. Additional lyrics are by Jonathan Coulton.

Synopsis: "Stakes are higher than ever before as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage. Get ready to dive to all-new depths of theatrical innovation at SpongeBob SquarePants, where the power of optimism really can save the world!"

The principal cast of SpongeBob SquarePants includes Ethan Slater (as SpongeBob SquarePants), Tony & Olivier Award nominee Gavin Lee (as Squidward), Lilli Cooper (as Sandy Cheeks), Danny Skinner (as Patrick), Wesley Taylor (as Sheldon Plankton) and Brian Ray Norris (as Eugene Krabs) .

The ensemble features Gaelen Gilliland, Juliane Godfrey, Kyle Matthew Hamilton, Curtis Holbrook, Stephanie Hsu, Jesse JP Johnson, L’ogan J’ones, Jai’len Josey, Kelvin Moon Loh, Lauralyn McClelland, Vasthy Mompoint, Oneika Phillips, Jon Rua, JC Schuster, Abby C. Smith, Robert Taylor Jr., Allan Washington, Brynn Williams, and Matt Wood.

The creative team behind SpongeBob SquarePants features orchestrations, arrangements & music supervision by Tom Kitt, choreography by Christopher Gattelli, scenic & costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Kevin Adams, projection design by Peter Nigrini, sound design by Walter Trarbach, and hair & wig design by Charles G. LaPointe.

The musical staged its world premiere production at Chicago's Oriental Theatre in the summer of 2016.

SpongeBob SquarePants is produced on Broadway by Nickelodeon with The Araca Group, Sony Music Masterworks and Kelp on the Road.

"SpongeBob SquarePants", which debuted in 1999, is an American animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. Set in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom, the series follows the adventures of the title character and his friends. A film adaptation was released in 2004, with a sequel released in America on February 6, 2015.

SpongeBob SquarePants Tickets are now available for performances through to May 27, 2018.