Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Nickelodeon's 'SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical' Shuts Down Tour Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Nickelodeon hit it out of the park with their musical interpretation of SpongeBob SquarePants, which opened to extremely positive critical reviews and has brought in audiences since it launched. Unfortunately due to the unprecedented issues with the coronavirus Nickelodeon has announced that they are shutting down the North American tour for SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical, and they released an official statement announcing the show's closing. The statement reads "Due to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, The SpongeBob Musical North American Tour is closing. Thank you to the cast, crew, musicians, production team, and fans of Bikini Bottom. We've had the best days ever with you."

Nickelodeon didn't want to close the tour down, but with cases everywhere rising, especially in New York, it just made sense. You can find their full statement below.

Since the SpongeBob SquarePants Musical launched on Broadway (following a trial in Chicago) it has been nominated for a myriad of Tony Awards, including for Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score, Best Male Leading Performance, Best Male Featured Role, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, Best Direction, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations, with the show winning for Best Scenic Design of a Musical (David Zinn).

The touring cast of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical includes: Lorenzo Pugliese as SpongeBob SquarePants, Daria Pilar Redus as Sandy Cheeks, Beau Bradshaw as Patrick Star, Christopher Cody Cooley as Squidward Q. Tentacles, Zach Kononov as Mr. Krabs, and Tristan McIntyre as Plankton. The ensemble includes Morgan Blanchard, John Cardenas, Natalie L. Chapman, Richie Dupkin, Stephen C. Kallas, Helen Regula, Méami Maszewski, Stefan Miller, Joshua Bess, Mary Nickson, Dorian O'Brien, Caitlin Ort, Elle-May Patterson, Sydney Simone, Ayana Strutz, Teddy Gales, Miles Davis Tillman, and Rico Velazquez.

Broadway's best creative minds reimagine and bring to life the beloved Nickelodeon series with humor, heart and pure theatricality in a neon-sparkly "party for the eyes and ears" (Daily Beast). Be there when SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face catastrophe-until a most unexpected hero rises to take center stage. This "creative explosion" ( is "nothing short of genius" says TheaterMania, so bring the entire family to celebrate friendship and cooperation, and learn the power of unity and inclusion.

The SpongeBob Musical explodes with energy and features an original pop and rock-infused score by a legendary roster of Grammy Award®-winning songwriters. Led and conceived by visionary director Tina Landau (2018 Tony Award nominee) and a Tony Award®-winning design team, the production brings the spirit of SpongeBob to life with humanity, heart, and pure theatricality. The SpongeBob Musical features a book by Kyle Jarrow, orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Kitt, musical supervision by Julie McBride & Tim Hanson, and choreography by Christopher Gattelli. The design team includes scenic and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Kevin Adams, projection design by Peter Nigrini, sound design by Walter Trarbach, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, make-up design by Joe Dulude II, foley design by Mike Dobson, and casting by Stewart/Whitley.

The SpongeBob Musical is a one-of-a-kind musical event with original songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper & Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T's, They Might Be Giants, T.I., Domani & Lil'C and songs by David Bowie & Brian Eno, and by Tom Kenny & Andy Paley. Additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton. Additional music by Tom Kitt.

Although the North American tour of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical has closed, fans can still get their fix of the SpongeBob SquarePants Musical in a number one ways:

- Fans can stream The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage!, Nickelodeon's 2019 holiday special which reunited the original Broadway cast of the SpongeBob Musical on Amazon Prime Video.

- The Original Cast Recording is available now from Masterworks Broadway wherever music is sold and streamed:

- Each track is available on YouTube, and so you don't need to go searching for them, I've made a blog featuring each track:

- You can listen to each song from the Original Cast Recording album in the YouTube playlist below:

From syracuse:

Broadway actors from CNY find creativity and comforts of home during pandemic shutdown

New York state continues to roll on with its four phase reopening of the state during the coronavirus pandemic. However, large performance venues will be one of the last to open and many have canceled their entire entertainment seasons. Broadway announced it will be closed until at least September and venues across the country are taking their lead, leaving cast, crew, and production staff out of work.

We caught up with professional actors who are Central New York natives to find out how the great intermission is affecting them and how they are occupying this time.

The SpongeBob Musical tour that dried up

Swings for The SpongeBob musical tour Teddy Gales, CNY native Mary Nickson, and John Cardenas.Provided photo |

Mary Nickson, a Fayetteville Manlius graduate, worked in regional theaters around CNY before attending college for theater and moving to Manhattan to pursue a career as an actor.

Eight months after moving, she booked a national tour of “The Spongebob Musical” which went on the road in September. The tour was about halfway complete when the coronavirus pandemic brought it to a screeching halt.

The cast was in Denver, Colorado, ready to perform for two weeks before making their biggest stop of the tour — Los Angeles and the Nickelodeon Studios Headquarters — when everything was shut down.

“We had been working to get to that point for the entire tour,” Nickson said.

The city of Denver shut the production down. Tour managers told cast members that they would be sending everyone home, but that they would be back in two weeks to go to L.A. and to leave their things at the theater.

The cast and crew were sent home on March 16, and by March 21 they were told the tour was closing completely. Meanwhile, all of their personal belongings from makeup to musical instruments from the pit were still in the trucks waiting for them on the road. Three months later, belongings had not yet been returned.

“All of our musicians have all of their instruments on the trucks. One of my best friends is the guitarist and she has two $3,000 guitars sitting on the trucks that are apparently in Canada,” she said.

Nickson is now home with her family after quarantining herself for two weeks after tour ended. It is a move that some of her friends still in Manhattan are thinking of making. With no work to be had in the theater world until possibly September, with no guarantee, paying New York City rent is causing some to consider other options.

One of her goals with this national tour was to work towards gaining membership in the Actor’s Equity Union. This would give her access to different kinds of auditions, roles, and union benefits. Now that half of the tour has been canceled, the trajectory she had planned is looking uncertain.

For now, Nickson is helping her little sister with her schoolwork, writing music, collaborating with friends online, and keeping up to date on things that are happening in the industry.

She feels it’s time to put more concrete measures to keep cast and crew safe on the road. As someone with asthma, Nickson said that leaving things to the honor system like cleaning and sanitizing is not enough.

“I feel like it’s never been more important to actually have bonafide rules that we triple, quadruple check instead of just letting people say they did it,” she said.


More Nick: Nickelodeon Launches #KidsTogether--A Global Prosocial Initiative to Help Kids and Families Stay Informed and Engaged With Activities; Noggin to be Offered Free to Kids in Need in Partnership with National Head Start Association and First Book

Originally published: Friday, March 27, 2020.

Original source: ComicBook.
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