Britney Spears, 37, is on a career roll! Sony has gained the cinematic rights to Once Upon a One More Time, an upcoming Broadway musical based on the pop superstar’s songs. Spears’ fans in particular and movie musical fans in general are definitely in for a treat if the movie pushes through.
The news is likely a welcome one for Spears considering the recent rumors about her reported stay at a mental health facility in the midst of her father’s health issues.
While the pop singer posted about self-care on her Instagram account, many of her fans are alleging that Spears is being held against her will (i.e., #Free Britney). Her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, also posted on Instagram a message of support while using the #stronger hashtag.
Spears has been relatively inactive on social media, particularly on Instagram, with the last one being last January 2019 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of her debut album, Baby One More Time.
The title of the upcoming Broadway musical is, in fact, in reference to Spear’s first hit song, also titled Baby One More Time, released in 1998 as a single.
According to sources, the musical is inspired by the princess fairy tales of Cinderella and Snow White, among other classic princesses, but with a modern, feminist twist. In it, the princesses belong in a book club and living fairy tale lives until a rogue fairy godmother introduces them to The Feminine Mystique, a 1963 feminist classic written by Betty Friedan and credited for starting second-wave feminism in the U.S.
The princesses set about changing their lives and shedding the stereotypes that previously held them back from achieving their full potential and then some. While they are doing so, they are singing many of Spears’ iconic songs –and we can’t wait to hear them done Broadway-style.
According to initial reports, the songs featured include Spears’ greatest hits – Lucky, Toxic, Circus, and Oops I Did It Again. With several successful albums, Spears and her music are among the most recognizable worldwide and, thus, her songs being featured in Broadway and Hollywood in a musical makes perfect sense.
The musical will feature a Jon Hartmere book original. According to Hartmere in an interview with The New York Times, “Cinderella is having an existential crisis.” Even her posse of princesses will be in for a royal revelation that shatters stereotypes including the power of true love’s kiss.
There will also be other interesting characters – an eight dwarf, an unhappy narrator, and an unconventional Prince Charming.
The posse of princesses, added Hartmere, will also “get deeper into modern ideas” including second-wave and third-wave feminism while exploring the traditions involved in storytelling and social norms. He promises a “super-fun and funny” musical, too.
Kristin Hanggi, the director of the hugely successful Tom Cruise-fronted rock musical Rock of Ages, is the musical’s director. Keone and Mari Madrid are the choreographers; the duo are known for their viral YouTube dance videos and World of Dance stint.
The musical is schedules for previews on October 29, 2019 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago, Illinois before heading to Broadway. It will run until December 1, 2019. The opening night is on November 13, 2019.
Reports have it that Spears and Larry Rudolph, her long-time manager, as well as Davis Entertainment will be the film’s producers.
The musical obviously doesn’t have the stereotypical biographical approach in keeping with its stereotype-busting storyline. Instead, it will probably be more like Head Over Heels, a successful Broadway production with a fairy tale line, too; the music featured the songs of Go-Go’s, an American new wave band.
Early speculations also point to its possible similarities with Mama Mia!, a widely successful Hollywood musical featuring the songs of Abba. It won’t be like the Bohemian Rhapsody, also a musical based on the life and music of Freddie Mercury, the legendary vocalist of the rock group Queen.
But it seems that there’s another controversy, albeit unintended, about the Spears-centric Broadway musical. It will fill the slot left vacant at the James M. Nederlander Theatre by a Michael Jackson musical, titled Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, which will directly head to Broadway in 2020. The show’s producers scrapped its pre-Broadway Chicago show.
Producers for the Jackson musical said the Chicago cancellation due to the Actor’s Equity strike. The cancellation also came just weeks after the debut of HBO’s controversial documentary, Leaving Neverland, about alleged sexual abuses committed by Jackson against then-minor boys, James Safechuck and Wade Robson.
In an official statement, Nederlander stated that the theater has been closely working with Spears in the development of a concept that “perfectly encapsulates her unique spirit”. For her part, Spears has said that the musical is “a dream come true” for her and expressed her excitement for a musical featuring her songs, especially one taking place in a “magical world with characters” she grew up, love and adore.
We’re just excited to see the magic on stage and on screen that will happen!