There’s nothing Broadway aficionados love more than getting a sneak peek at an upcoming show. To get to see the magical transformation as a show makes its journey from conception to the stage is something few people get to witness first-hand. Which is why we were so excited to attend an invite-only rehearsal of SpongeBob SquarePants, the new musical that’s bringing the beloved residents of Bikini Bottom to Broadway!
SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, Mr. Krabs and Plankton were all-hands-on-deck at New 42 Studios… or rather, Ethan Slater, Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper, Gavin Lee, Brian Ray Norris and Wesley Taylor were there, playing their respective characters.
The rehearsal space was decked out in everyday items cleverly re-imagined as things one might see at Bikini Bottom: pool noodles forming the appendages of a sea anemone, colorful drinking cup “coral,” and a skateboard to help SpongeBob’s beloved pet Gary to get around the set. Attendees at the exclusive presentation also got to check out sketches and scale models of the sets; everything about the designs exuded joy, a defining characteristic of the SpongeBob world.
Something evident at the very start of the rehearsal was that the actors would not be donning giant mascot costumes of their characters. Legendary director Tina Landau, who serves as the metaphoric captain of this ship, explained that the actors would be bringing the human characteristics of their characters to the stage. Ethan Slater, who plays SpongeBob, was dressed in comfy gray sweatpants on the day of the rehearsal, but fully embodied his role and brought the character to optimistic life.
After an intro from Landau, the talented company performed the opening number and a couple more musical numbers from the show, one of which was “Not A Loser,” starring Squidward in a dream-like sequence. It would be hard to miss that Gavin Lee, who plays Squidward, has an extra set of legs with the help of a cleverly constructed costume. What’s even more impressive is the advanced tap routine Lee pulls off with the extra legs. We don’t want to spoil anything; you’ll have to see the show to see it yourself!
If the preview we were treated to is just a taste of what is to come, we can’t wait to see the production in all its undersea glory! SpongeBob SquarePants begins performances November 6, so take care of securing your tickets in advance by visiting the show page below. Make sure you stay tuned for our exclusive interview with Lilli Cooper, who plays Sandy Cheeks, coming soon!