There are optimists, and then there is the Eternal Optimist, SpongeBob SquarePants. Indefatigable in nature, filled with energy, if there's anyone who doesn't need "Monday Morning Smiles" because they're already smiling each and every Monday, it's SpongeBob. The Nick cartoon, which has been airing for more than 18 years, has been turned into a feature-length movie, and now it's been turned into a feature-length musical.
The musical opens on Broadway later this year, but the original cast album is released this Friday. Unlike a lot of musicals, the producers went to a variety of artists to write songs for the musical (with a single person, Kyle Jarrow, writing the "book"). NPR premiered the album late last week, and Linda Holmes wrote the review so I don't have to. Of note is "I'm Not a Loser" by They Might Be Giants (no strangers to kids music). But the highlight for me is absolutely killer "I Wish"-type song from Jonathan Coulton -- the song that introduces characters and their wishes which will be filled (or not) in the two hours to come -- it's called "Bikini Bottom Day," and it'll put a smile on your face as wide as SpongeBob's I'm sure.
Go here to listen, if only for 6 minutes.