[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★]
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS HEADS TO BROADWAY
(P1) CULT cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants is heading to Broadway as a musical with original songs by David Bowie, John Legend, and Cyndi Lauper.
(P2) Producers have described the show as “a ROUSING tale of a simple sea sponge who faces the UNFATHOMABLE“.
(P3) It will open in Chicago with a limited run in June next year, before going to Broadway.
(P4) The TV cartoon, first seen in 1999, has SPAWNED two successful cinema films.
(P5) Other pop artists and groups such as The Flaming Lips, They Might Be Giants, Lady Antebellum, Panic! At the Disco, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler have also written songs for the show.
(P6) Co-creator and director Tina Landau, who is from the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, said it would be different to the TV show.
(P7) “We’re taking our leads from the TV show but this is an original story, with an original design approach, and original songs written just for the occasion by an amazing ARRAY of songwriters.
(P8) “We will present the world of Bikini Bottom and its characters in a whole new way that can only be achieved in the live medium of the theatre.”
(P9) She said the characters will be brought to life “through actors – not PROSTHETICS or costumes that hide them”.
(P10) The show will be produced by Nickelodeon, who created the TV cartoon.
(P11) Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s president of content development and production said: “The innovation (Tina Landau) is bringing to the staging is matched with an equally fun and surprising set of original songs we’ve culled from a DREAM TEAM of SpongeBob fans who happen to be TOP-FLIGHT musical artists, like David Bowie, John Legend, and Cyndi Lauper.”
(P12) David Bowie is such a fan of the show that he voiced a character in 2006. He had described his role as Lord Royal Highness as “the HOLY GRAIL of animation GIGS“.
(P13) Since PREMIERING on Nickelodeon in July 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has become as a pop culture PHENOMENON. It is shown in more than 185 countries and translated into more than 50 languages.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Is SpongeBob SquarePants popular in your country?
- Who is your favorite cartoon character?
- Do you enjoy going to a live play or musical? What was the last one that you saw?
- Who are your favorite pop musicians?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Dream team
- Holy Grail