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SpongeBob Musical: First look at the cast in costume

The Nickelodeon icon makes his stage debut in Chicago before bubbling to Broadway.

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Joan Marcus

Arrrr ya ready, Internet?

After months of build-up, the curtain is rising on The SpongeBob Musical, and EW has your official first look at production photos for the buoyant, bubbly, Bikini Bottom-y new stage musical, which begins performances on June 7 at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre before an expected move to Broadway next season.

The show stars newcomer Ethan Slater as the titular absorbent and yellow and porous protagonist, who takes it upon himself to save his town from the impending doom of a volcanic eruption. SpongeBob is joined on his hero’s mission by all the familiar characters from the Nickelodeon cartoon, now come to life onstage: Patrick (Danny Skinner), Sandy (Lilli Cooper), Squidward (Gavin Lee), Mr. Krabs (Carlos Lopez), and Plankton (Nick Blaemire).

Tina Landau co-conceived and directs the production, which features a book by Kyle Jarrow, choreography by Christopher Gattelli, music supervision by Tom Kitt, and—get ready—songs by everyone from Aerosmith, John Legend, and Sara Bareilles to Cyndi Lauper, Lady Antebellum, T.I., and David Bowie.

The SpongeBob Musical will play its Broadway-bound world premiere through July 10, 2016. Check out exclusive photos — of SpongeBob, Squidward, Patrick, and Sandy — above and below.

Joan Marcus
Joan Marcus
Joan Marcus