SpongeBob SquarePants, despite being the magnum opus of Nickelodeon cartoons, has set a precedent for children’s music all on it’s own. With its famed musical episode “Band Geeks”, and the show’s other most famous song that contains merely one line (The Krusty Krab pizza is the pizza for you and me), and of course who could forget such hits like “Greasy Spoon” and “Goofy Goober”? The show has been imbedded into the minds of humans all over the world. Not just for the show’s bubbly characters, obnoxious laughs, and the looming mystery of the Krusty Krab secret formula. But for bringing us enough tunes to be stuck in your head for a lifetime. Who could forget the classic “F is for friends who do stuff together, U is for you and me. N is for anywhere at any time at all, down here in the deep blue sea!” Probably, no one, ever. Because it is the catchiest tune to come out of the deep blue sea!
Now that The SpongeBob musical is set to hit the stage on Broadway in the 2016-2017 season (and expectedly beyond) and in Chicago’s Oriental Theater on June 7th, everyone is ecstatic to find out what new tunes will be rattling around in their brains for the next week and then sporadically for the rest of their lives. Well, it looks like those tunes will be entirely different from what SpongeBob and his sea creature friends are usually belting out. The new music for the expected summer hit will be brought to us by some of the best. On the soundtrack, the ensemble cast (Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper, Gaelen Gilliland, Curtis Holbrook, and many more) will be spitting fire thanks to a rap written by T.I. and they will be singing lofty lyrics written by the late David Bowie.Yes, the star man has written lyrics for the sea sponge.
The music for the show is meant to keep to the aesthetic of the set which has been conceptualized to not entirely mirror the cartoon. But rather, the stage will be littered like the ocean floor but lit with imagination, keeping the vibe of the television series but not gimmicking it. The music will similarly be scattered with various textures and styles from many musical talents who were told not to write for the characters themselves, but to write how they typically do. Director Tina Landau described to the songwriters the play’s plot and presented them with lyric prompts. For each story beat she chose which artist she believed, based on their personal style, would tell the story best.
Among the hodgepodge list of songwriters are (Recently No. 1 Selling Artists) Panic! At The Disco, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Smith, Cyndi Lauper, and Lady Antebellum. All of whom are going to be cohesively strung together by music supervisor Tom Kitt, along with the show’s original Nickelodeon music department.
Said Director Landau, “We very specifically asked all of the artists to write how they write, and not try to do what they think Nickelodeon or SpongeBob would sound like,” Landau adds. “What’s amazing is, when we hear them sung by our performers, you can tell exactly who wrote which song. We really wanted that difference.”