Making Broadway musicals based around properties that are already very popular is nothing new. “Wicked” and “The Lion King” have become two of the highest grossing musicals in the history of Broadway. Therefore, it makes sense that this formula will be tried again. However, this time the star of he show will be a cartoon character from a kids show on Nickelodeon. SpongeBob SquarePants will be getting his own musical on Broadway. The show will debut on the Great White Way on December 4th. The show has actually already premiered in Chicago. The same cast will be playing all of their same parts in the Broadway production.
Some very famous and talented musicians will also be lending some of their songs to the production. The late David Bowie had already agreed to have one of his songs in the show before his death last year. He provided the voice in a SpongeBob show and had been friendly with the producers ever since. Cyndi Lauper, Lady Antebellum, John Legend and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler are other artists who have already committed to be a part of the project. “SpongeBob SquarePants” has been one of Nickelodeon’s most popular original shows in the history of the channel. The network has made millions of dollars selling merchandise associated wit the character.
Info about the plot of the show has not been made available. It is unclear if the musical will follow any plots that have been taken directly from episodes of the show. There were rumors that the New York City production of the show will be different than the Chicago version. However, nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Nickelodeon has been in talks to do a musical starring SpongeBob for many years. However, people involved with the network were not happy with the scripts that were being presented to them. The finally found a script that they believed would be a hit with audiences and went into production last year.
On October 13,2016, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature. He is the first American songwriter to ever win this award. One of Bob Dylan’s unique characteristics is his ability to reach an extremely wide crowd, including those on Broadway, according to an article originally published on New York Theater Me. Bob is the only person to have ever won an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize.
Bob’s music has been featured in four Broadway musicals. The first time that Broadway lit up to a Dylan song was on October 26, 1970 when theater goers heard “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” and “Dear Landlord” in the musical Play Play with Music at the Paul Sills’ Story Theatre. This show was Dylan’s music longest run on Broadway.
Dylan fans had to wait over a decade for Bob Dylan’s music to light up a Broadway stage again. On October 24, 1982, fans heard “Blowin in the Wind,” “’Like a Rolling Stone” and “Forever Young” during the weeklong musical revue called Rock ‘N Roll! The First 5,000 Years held at the St. James’ Theatre. Despite the fact that this show only saw nine regular performances, the New York Times described it as an amazing summary of music over the last 25 years.
Bob Dylan’s music was next heard on Broadway in “The Times They Are A-Changin’” at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Bob wrote all the music for this dance show which featured many artists including Twyla Tharp. This show received mostly negative reviews and closed on November 19, 2006. Songs performed during this Broadway show included “Don’t Be Thinking Twice It’s All Right,” “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” “Mr. Trombone Man” and “On a Night Like This.”
The last time that Bob Dylan’s music was heard on Broadway was on February 9, 2014, in the music A Night with Janis Joplin where she sings “I Shall Be Released.” This show opened on October 10, 2013. It was originally held at the Lyceum Theatre before being moved off-Broadway.
Theater owners and performers may be singing Give My Regards to Broadway, if they do not change their marketing practices. A recent article published on Huffington Post, points out that theater owners and performers are not keeping up with trends in technology. The ultimate result may be the death of Broadway. The future of Broadway depends on performers, producers, theater owners and others in the industry embracing technology instead of being stuck in the mindset of yesteryear.
First, more than 50 percent of audience members are using their mobile devices to find out information about shows on Broadway. Yet, less than 15 percent of the normal advertising budget is spent on mobile advertising. Additionally, less than 15 percent of theater transactions take place digitally. This trend must be reversed. Theaters need to embrace the possibilities of promoting their shows on mobile devices. They need to make it very easy to buy tickets online to the latest shows. Those going to theaters are wanting this change. It is time that the industry embrace it.
Except for a few top shows like Hamilton, many Broadway shows have trouble filling their seats on a regular basis. Mobile technology can fix this problem to a large extent if its top performers are asked to help with the show’s digital marketing. These performers are natural storytellers. Let them perform their magic where people can see it on their mobile devices and watch theaters fill up once again. Some performers will happily embrace the opportunity to reach consumers on their smartphones, tablets, Apple Watches and other devices. For the others, it needs to be stipulated in their contracts
Staying stuck in the same place will lead to the death of Broadway. Consumers have way too many choices. Therefore, everyone in the industry must work together by embracing mobile technology to attract a wider audience. There are many who have never been to a Broadway show. They have to be encouraged to be reached and encouraged to attend if the future of Broadway is to shine brightly.