Saturday, May 25, 2024

Broadway: Tony-Deprived “Spongebob Square Pants” Musical Will Close in September for $2.4 Billion Building Project


Another one bites the dust.

Following “Escape to Margaritaville,” another 2018 season musical is closing on Broadway. “Spongebob Square Pants” will shutter on September 16th. It will have played 327 performance and 29 previews.

The very odd show won 1 Tony Award, for scenic design. Like all the other mediocre shows of 2018, it was lost in a sweep by “The Band’s Visit.”

Yes, this season was a cold one, following “Hamilton” and “Dear Evan Hansen.” This past season, for example, there were no original musicals. They were all based on movies or other media, from Donna Summer to Spongebob, Margaritaville, and so on. Even “The Band’s Visit” came from the 2008 movie.
“Mean Girls” also came from the movie of that name.

More of the same is on its way, with “Beetlejuice” leading the way, and “Jagged Little Pill,” from Alanis Morissette requiring me to learn how to spell her name again after 25 years away from the limelight.

The “Spongebob” press release refers to coming renovations at the landmarked Palace Theater on Broadway and West 47th St. This may be the plan to pick up the building — literally raise it– and build commercial space below it. This would knock out the Palace for three years and cost $2.4 billion dollars.

There is already so much ‘for rent’ retail space in Times Square and all over New York, I can’t imagine what the developers think will go in there. Another Sephora? A bank? Why not stop, and not harm the landmarked theater? Oh yeah– $$$$.

PS There’s the abandoned lot between 45th and 46th where developers haven’t been able to launch a theater project. How about digging in there? 


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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