Britney Spears-Inspired Musical ‘Once Upon a One More Time’ Sets Broadway Run for June 2023
Produced by Tony winners James L. Nederlander and Hunter Arnold, the musical comedy will open at the Marquis Theatre on June 23 following previews, which begin May 13. Keone and Mari Madrid Karate Kid ), choreograph the show. It combines classic storybook characters (think Cinderella, Snow White and more) with hits from Spears’ extensive, award-winning music catalogue.
The show is said to have been inspired by music performed by and recorded by Spears, who is not otherwise known to be involved. A rep for the production said that all musical compositions in the show were licensed by their publishers with the approval and consent of the songwriters. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Spears’ lawyer for comment.
According to the production, Once Upon a Another Time is a “musical journey about claiming your happily ever after.” The soundtrack to the fairy-tale book club is broken up by a rogue fairy godmother who decides to drop The Feminine Mystique into the laps women who have only known “bird-made clothes and true love’s kiss.”
With an original story written by Jon Hartmere (Bare, The Upside), the production’s creative team includes David Leveaux (Nine, Romeo and Juliet) as a creative consultant, scenic designer Anna Fleischle (Hangmen, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), costume and hair designer Loren Elstein (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead), lighting designer Kenneth Posner (Wicked, Beetlejuice), sound designer Andrew Keister (KPOP, On Your Feet! ) and projection designer Sven Ortel (Newsies).
The show was originally slated for a pre-Broadway run in Chicago in 2019 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, but delayed its opening to spring 2020. Producers decided to cancel the Chicago engagement after the pandemic decimated theaters across the country in March.
Once Upon a One More Time would make its world premiere in December 2021 at Washington D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, where it eventually extended its limited engagement from Jan. 3 to 9 due to demand.
Spears, who is not credited as part of the creative or producer team, was present for an early reading in 2019 according to The Washington Post. Ahead of the musical’s abandoned Chicago run, during which Spears was still in her now-ended 13-year conservatorship, Playbill reported that the pop icon called the production “a dream come true for me.”
She stated that she was thrilled to be a part of a musical featuring my songs, especially one that takes places in a magical world with characters she grew up with and who I love and adore.
Before the musical’s D.C. run in 2021, Hartmere said he was “given access to all of Spears’s songs,” according to an interview with the Post. He said that he was only told that Spears loves fairies. “And I was like, “That’s it. That’s all we have to do. ‘”
He said, “I knew the songs that everyone else knew,”. “I didn’t know the deep cuts. She actually has a song called “Cinderella”. I was like, “All right, I have this to do.” ‘”
The news comes on the pop icon’s 41st birthday.