'Woke' Spears Musical Gets Shakespearean Start

DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company to debut 'Once Upon a One More Time' in November
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2021 11:15 AM CDT
Shakespeare Co.'s Big First: a Britney Musical Meant for Broadway
Britney Spears arrives at the GLAAD Media Awards on April 12, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Britney Shakespears is in the house, or will be soon, according to Broadway World's latest news. The Shakespeare Theatre Company has announced its 2021-22 season, officially kicking off later this year in DC's Sidney Harman Hall, and the opening piece is a notable one. Once Upon a One More Time, a musical based upon the songbook of Britney Spears, will open during the last week of November and run through Jan. 2—the first time the company has tried out a commercial musical before sending it along to a theater on Broadway, per the Washington Post. The production, with a book by Bare writer Jon Hartmere and choreography by Keone and Mari Madrid, was originally set to open in Chicago but had its debut postponed by the pandemic.

The AP describes the production as a "fractured fairy tale" about "woke princesses," with featured tunes to include Spears' "Oops! ... I Did It Again," "Lucky," "Toxic," and "Stronger." Hartmere's Disney royalty, including Cinderella, Snow White, and Ariel from The Little Mermaid, undergo a metamorphosis after reading feminist Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. "Britney Spears is an American pop icon, and the team of this musical has worked with her to craft a story that captures her joie de vivre and her [indomitable] spirit," Simon Godwin, artistic director at the STC, tells Broadway World. Spears has previously called the musical "a dream come true for me." Tickets will go on sale in the late summer, per the theater company's site. (More Britney Spears stories.)

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