It’s Broadway, bitch! In honor of the icon’s birthday today, a Britney Spears-inspired musical was just announced for this summer.
Once Upon A One More Time will open at the Marquis Theatre in June 2023, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Produced by Tony Award winners James L. Nederlander and Hunter Arnold, the musical comedy features classic folk tale characters and a Britney Spears soundtrack.
Set to hits like “Oops! I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” and “Toxic,” the production describes the revisionist fairytale as a “musical adventure about claiming your own happily ever after.” The original story, written by Jon Hartmere, tracks a fairy-tale book club that's shaken up by the introduction of The Feminine Mystique. The book's topics contrast the young women’s worldview that consists of “bird-made dresses and true love’s kiss.”
Though Spears appears to not be directly involved in the show, it is said to be inspired by her discography and performances. The production team includes creative consultant David Leveaux, scenic designer Anna Fleischle, costume and hair designer Loren Elstein, lighting designer Kenneth Posner, sound designer Andrew Keister and projection designer Sven Ortel.
With a pre-Broadway run originally planned for Chicago in 2019 at the James M. Nederlander Theater, the show was then delayed until spring 2020 before shuttering due to the pandemic. Then, in December 2021, Once Upon A One More Time premiered at Washington DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company. High demand led the engagement to be extended from January 3 to January 9.
Though Spears is not credited, she witnessed an early reading in 2019, according to The Washington Post. Reacting to the unfulfilled Chicago production, when she was still in her since-ended 13-year conservatorship, Spears called it “a dream come true,” according to Playbill.
The legendary singer continued in a statement: “I’m so excited to have a musical with my songs — especially one that takes place in such a magical world filled with characters that I grew up on, who I love and adore.”
Before the show's DC debut, Hartmere said he had access to all of Spears’ musical compositions, including “deep cuts” like “Cinderella.” He told The Washington Post, of Spears: “The only thing I was told was that she loves fairies. And I was like, ‘That’s it, that’s what we’ve got to go on.”
Photo via Getty/ Matt Winkelmeyer
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