Broadway’s ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ is closing

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical” will tap its last dance on Sunday, September 16, concluding a 10-month run at the Nederlander Organization’s Palace Theater. Producers say a North American tour will being in fall 2019 (details to be announced) and school and youth group licensing rights will be available in early 2019.

In the closing announcement, producers — led by Nickelodeon with The Araca Group, Sony Music Masterworks and Kelp on the Road — attributed the Broadway closing to previously planned major theater renovations set to begin mid-September.

The musical, directed by Tina Landau, with book by Kyle Jarrow, music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Kitt and choreography by Christopher Gattelli, was nominated for 12 Tony Awards but took home only of the trophies last month, for David Zinn’s Scenic Design of a Musical.

Cast includes Tony nominees Ethan Slater and Gavin Lee, along with Lilli Cooper, Brian Ray Norris, Danny Skinner and Wesley Taylor.

“SpongeBob,” despite mostly favorable reviews and songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco and David Bowie, among others, hasn’t joined the ranks of Broadway’s biggest-selling new productions.

In recent weeks, ticket sales have been solid but significantly below sell-out. The week ending July 1, for example, the gross ticket sales totaled $937,090, about 67% of a potential $1.4 million. The musical will close without recouping its reported $18 million capitalization.

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical,” which began previews on November 6, 2017, and opened on December 4, 2017, will have played 327 regular performances and 29 previews when it closed September 16.

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