Among the many inquiries Tina Landau presented to her imaginative group, and herself, when she was picked to take 'SpongeBob Squarepants from the television screen to the Broadway organize, was what a full-length live show highlighting the well known metazoan from Bikini Bottom could be about.
?SpongeBob? was a big hit for Nickelodeon, Landau says in a phone meeting, and episodes dealt with some interesting topics, but each cartoon lasted about 11 minutes, and we had to engage an audience for a couple of hours.?
Their decision? Nothing not exactly the finish of life.
It was the perfect subject,? Landau said. ??SpongeBob? raises environmental issues, and what issue could be more fraught with tension that the end of existence as we know it??
Asking inquiries and discovering arrangements was a steady piece of the 10-year process that turned Nickelodeon's mark program to The SpongeBob Musical, which starts two weeks of exhibitions tomorrow evening at Philadelphia's Forrest Theater.
Landau's first questions were coordinated to Nickelodeon and the makers that welcomed her to pitch them her thoughts for a show.
I had specific things in mind, and I wanted to introduce them immediately so both the producers and I could see if we were right for each other and this venture, Landau said.
I wanted first to know whom the producers intended to reach. Was this to be a show directed at children, or was it to be broader based to include adults and attract people who might not be as familiar with SpongeBob as the Nickelodeon viewers?
?I also wanted to be sure there no concept of actors performing in big prosthetic costumes. I would not be interested in working on that kind of show.
?Steve Hillenburg (the SpongeBob creator who died in November 2018 but was alive during the entire cartoon-to-stage process) told me he thought of the show as an alternative program with an indy spirit and sensibility.
?Everything I heard made me feel more confident the producers and I were thinking along the same lines, and they must have agreed because I got the show.?
Getting the show implied making sense of an assortment of issues. Not exclusively did a progressing plot need considering, yet making a submerged world and keeping up a feeling of imagination and experience while keeping on certain limits of the truth was a test.
The overarching purpose was to create something original that was fun and had some thought behind it, and yes, could go over the top while being careful to keep things recognizable and accessible to ?SpongeBob? fans. We wanted to be imaginative while also representing what made ?SpongeBob? popular. Remember, SpongeBob is a sponge who lives in a pineapple. You want to be fanciful at that level, to create an event that brings Bikini Bottom and that pineapple home to life, to enter the world of Bikini Bottom, while being serious enough to make the characters relatable and the plot conflicts work.
?The first workshop addressed whether we could make the show we envisioned physically happen. Is what we conceive doable? Can we mesh the liveliness and inventive we intend with the cohesive telling of a story? We need to keep these animated characters in their familiar setting. We also needed to establish them as non-human but real and vulnerable as well as animated.
?Kyle Jarrow, who wrote the book, and Tom Kitt, who coordinated and arranged the score and wrote the music connecting songs, were there from the beginning. We wanted to see what we could make happen. Would we be able to create the illusion that the show was happening underwater and incorporate the movement and buoyancy that suggests?
?Throughout, we wanted to keep the stakes high, create and address challenges, and keep the adrenaline going. It was exciting to see what could happen and what worked.?
Truly energizing is the way Landau cobbled together the music for the show. As opposed to go the standard course of working with one arranger lyricist group, Landau had the plan to solicit a few writers from a few classes from music to contribute a melody to the show.
I thought of different composers during different moments in the show, so I invited each of them to write a song for that instance. For example, there?s a folksy sequence that is right for a country tune, one in which Sandy Cheeks, the squirrel, sings about being from Texas, and I thought Lady Antebellum would be right for that scene, so I spoke to Lady Antebellum, and they presented a song.?
The author's rundown for The SpongeBob Musical resembles a's who in current music. Other than Lady Antebellum, there are tunes by John Legend, Sara Bareilles, David Bowie and Brian Eno, Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman, Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, They Might Be Giants, The Plain White T's, The Flaming Lips, Andy Paley and Tom Kenny, Jonathan Coulton, T.I., Alex Ebert, and Panic! at the Disco. Obviously, the SpongeBob subject, by Derek Drymon, Mark Harrison, Stephen Hillenburg, and Blaise Smith is likewise heard.
The entirety of the music is composed explicitly for The SpongeBob Musical.
I wasn?t? interested in a jukebox musical,? Landau says. ?I didn?t choose songs from a variety of songwriters. I wrote and told the composers what I looking for and how it fit in a particular scene. The wonderful part was how enthusiastically everyone responded.
?No one refused or insisted on being the sole composer on the show.
?What was really amazing is how the material came in. Some of the songwriters went into their studios and sent fully orchestrated, beautifully produced tapes of their song. Others sung them into their phones and sent that rough version. One practically hummed the song.
?Every artist we worked with related well with our method and did everything they could to make sure we had what we needed.
?The mix of styles is really great. It provides juxtaposition and contrast. It fits into the DNA of the ?SpongeBob? series, which is eclectic. I joke about the score having a Dadaesque sensibility, a lot of disparate parts fitting together so neatly, they become interesting for that as well as what they are a individual songs.?
As referenced, Tom Kitt, known best for making Next to Normal, which played locally at the Arden, Media, and Bristol Riverside Theaters, weave the entirety of the structures into a bound together score.
Landau talks about the workshops that prompted The SpongeBob Musical with affection. She depicts gatherings with originators, puppeteers, and others.
I wanted to hear every idea. I wanted the workshops to be like the musical, a playground in which to share thoughts and make a mess, the epitome of silly, and then come to the serious work of choosing what will work best.
?The show addresses the end of life, but in the long run, it celebrates life and the celebrating and scattering of joy. My hope is audiences will join in that celebration.?
'Mrs. Maisel' returns Friday
TV at last gives something to truly celebrate as Prime Video's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returns for a third season Friday.
Presently settled as a club comic, Midge goes on visit, and it will enthusiasm to see her in different settings.
Likewise returning for another season is Bravo's Project Runway, a style plan rivalry that returns with new shows on Thursday.
Of some intrigue might be The Moodys, where Elizabeth Perkins and Dennis Leary head a broken Chicago family as they have their vacation social occasions. The arrangement has six episodes, two of which air consecutive Wednesday on Fox (Channel 29), while the staying four play next Monday and Tuesday, December 9 and 10.
Condolences to Channel 17 traffic journalist Jenna Meissner on the Nov. 14 loss of her dad, Douglas.
Meissner was dynamic in the Media people group as the proprietor of Meissner Chevrolet and by means of work with the Media Youth Center, the Nether Providence AA, the Media Little League, and St. Mary Magdalen Parish. Other than city exercises, he was known for being a self-affirmed nourishment pundit and blessing pundit and appreciated hitting the fairway at Springhaven Club.
Notwithstanding Jenna, Meissner is made due by his better half, Lynne, little girls Tara and Alexa, and four grandkids.
Excuse them. They was such an enthusiast of Jason Silva as host of National Geographic Channel's Brain Games, They neglected to see he won't direct the eighth, and momentum, season.
The new host of the show is entertainer sketch comic Keegan-Michael Key.
'College Behind Bars' worth a look
They was likewise neglectful in not pointing out watcher a fantastic narrative arrangement that broadcast on Channel 12 a week ago and will stream on PBS for the following two months.
College Behind Bars shows the veritable quality of training when provided to individuals to whom it is regularly denied, detainees.
Bard College gives reaching courses in numerous New York detainment facilities, however two are singled out in this four-section program coordinated by Lynn Novick and created by Ken Burns.
Men from Eastern State Correctional Center in Napanoch, N.Y. furthermore, ladies from a Bedford Hills organization are appeared in their two differentiating settings, their study halls and their cells.
A few of the convicts have carried out violations that warrant their long detainment. Many executed those wrongdoings while youthful, some at 16 years old.
College Behind Bars shows how responsive the focused chosen students are when offered a education. Lively discourse are heard with respect to writing, history, and even math. Discussions are directed in Mandarin, which some of students are learning.
Through everything, Novick shows you the individual behind the detainee, especially the individual who has another comprehension of oneself and the world. Their point of view isn't constantly shared by prison guards who keep on observing the detainees are individuals to be restricted and, in one occasion, nearly closes a detainee's academic vocation over an inept, moralistic infraction that the student excuses quicker than they would.