BWW Exclusive: SPONGEBOB'S Ethan Slater and Tina Landau Tease Why Saturday Will Be Nickelodeon's Best Day Ever!
Are ya ready kids? We hope so, because Nickelodeon is taking a deep dive to Bikini Bottom this Saturday as is airs The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! (7pm EST).
Acclaimed Steppenwolf director Tina Landau and the groundbreaking designers behind Fun Home, Hedwig, and Spring Awakening have brilliantly reimagined Bikini Bottom for the Broadway stage, on tour, and now for television, bringing the spirit of SpongeBob to life with humanity, heart, and pure theatricality. With an original score from some of the biggest names in Pop and rock, The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! explodes with energy.
"I got the call out of the blue that Nickelodeon wanted to do it. They were sad that they hadn't gotten to do it at the Palace Theatre," Tina told BroadwayWorld. "We all feel so strongly about the message of joy, optimism, and community that this show carries within it. The chance to share it with more people who have not been exposed to it was a real gift."
The television event reunites much of the original Broadway cast, including Ethan Slater, who earned his first Tony nomination for his portrayal of the title character in 2018. "It was like a family reunion," Ethan explained. "It was a nerve-racking experience too, because we've been away from it for a little while. But we're coming back and doing it in a way that is going to reach more people than we were able to on Broadway... so the stakes were high! But fortunately, we had each other and Tina, and this amazing creative team. It became a really artistically fulfilling experience again to remount it. We got to approach it differently, which was really exciting. I think that will be felt. There is new depth to it that we got to infuse because of our time away."
How will the world of Bikini Bottom, which was recreated this fall in London, be transformed for TV? "It's not what was at the Palace Theatre, because one could never replicate that exactly," says Landau, "But it is a good version that was created anew by all of the designers who originally worked on the show. I feel like it represents and speaks to exactly what the production is."
"What has always happened with this show, no matter how skeptical someone might be, the second it begins and they enter our world, they are somewhat converted. I look forward to that experience of discovery for a huge TV audience," said Tina.
Watch the full conversation with Ethan and Tina as they give us the inside scoop on the special. Don't forget to tune in on Saturday, December 7, at 7pm to watch The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage!
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