An exciting new play from First Stage in Milwaukee for young people 6 and up!!

First Stage is excited to announce that next up in their 2022/23 season will be THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES, based on the iconic animated Nickelodeon series by Stephen Hillenberg, with book by Kyle Jarrow.  SpongeBob fans young and old will delight in seeing their favorite characters come to life on stage! The production features original songs by an array of legendary musicians including Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco and David Bowie, to name a few.

The musical production was conceived by Tina Landau and will be directed by Tommy Novak, (recently seen at First Stage’s production of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER™ as Sam the Snowman), choreographed by noted choreographer Katelin Zelon, with Musical Direction by area favorite Paul Helm. Milwaukee families will get to dive deep into the undersea town of Bikini Bottom with SpongeBob and his quirky circle of friends and neighbors – Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, Mr. Krabs and even Plankton – in this dynamic stage musical. Chaos erupts when SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation at the threat of Mt. Humongous. Just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage. First Stage audiences will discover that the power of optimism really can save the world! 

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES runs March 3 – April 2, 2023, at the Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater, located at 929 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets start at $32 and can be purchased in person at the Marcus Center Box Office at 929 N. Water Street, by phone at (414) 273-7206 or online at Performance runtime is approximately 75 minutes plus intermission. Suggested for families with young people ages 6+. 

From Director Tommy Novak: “‘Who lives in a pineapple under the Sea?’ SPONGEBOB SQUARE PANTS!!!” I am super excited to be working on THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES at First Stage. The thing about SpongeBob is that he is a simple sponge with a huge heroic heart. When the world is a horrible, miserable place, we need optimism and positivity that only SpongeBob can bring to the any situation. Although we sometimes see the darkness of the future, SpongeBob is here to remind all of us that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and they will help us to find the flashlight to get us through it. They always see the bright side of the situation; help to motivate us with humor, relentless positivity and an absurd silliness. SpongeBob is the biggest example of “I can’t is not is my vocabulary.” There is no task too large or too scary. Any task can be accomplished with teamwork and a community of support. This show reminds us that we are a community responsible for working together and taking care of each other. Only when we put our collective brains and hearts to a task will we succeed. The world we live in is NOW. Don’t stress about the future and leave the Past behind you. Today is a gift and tomorrow is not promised, so live each day as if it is your last with a full heart of kindness, joy and laughter. “MAKE IT YOUR BEST DAY EVER!” 

Tickets start at $32 – Tickets may be purchased at or through the Marcus Center Box Office, in person at 929 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee or by phone (414) 273-7206 or toll free at (888) 612-3500. The number for TDD (for deaf and hard of hearing patrons) is (414) 273-3080. 

And there are a number of special performances that you should be aware of:

Pay What You Choose Performance: Friday, March 10, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. 

Pay What You Choose tickets are available on a first come, first served basis with a minimum suggested donation of $5 per person. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. on the day of the performance. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early. Tickets may also be reserved in advance by phone at (414) 267-2961, weekdays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, please visit: 

Sensory Friendly Performance: Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 3:30 p.m.  

A Sensory Friendly Performance with accommodations for families with children on the autism spectrum will take place on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. Sensory accommodations include a quiet area staffed by an experienced educator, lower sound, house lights up and more. Tickets for Sensory Friendly Performances are $10. Order online or by phone at (414) 267-2961, weekdays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. to reserve tickets. To learn more visit:

ASL Interpreted Performance: Sunday, April 2, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. 

This performance will be sign language interpreted for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Assistive listening devices are also available at the Todd Wehr Theater. To learn more, please visit: 

For more information, please visit or call (414) 267-2961. 

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