Britney Spears, The Feminine Mystique, Snow White, and theater: together, at last. Yes, we’re getting a Britney Spears jukebox musical that, in the hallowed footsteps of Mamma Mia! and Head Overs Heels, isn’t going to tell the story of her life, but instead use her music to fit a different plot. In this case, the musical Once Upon a One More Time is going to blend plots from classic fairy tales with Britney’s songs, with a very on-the-nose feminist twist. The synopsis reads: “Once Upon a Time … Cinderella, Snow White, and the other fairytale princesses gather for their book club, when — oh, baby, baby! — a rogue fairy godmother drops The Feminine Mystique into their corseted laps, spurring a royal revelation.” So, is “Toxic” about the evil queen who poisons Sleeping Beauty? Do Cinderella’s animal friends have to “Work Bitch”?
New York theater owner James L. Nederlander announced plans for Once Upon a One More Time’s Chicago run this morning. The musical will start performances at the James M. Nederlander Theatre Tuesday, October 29, with an opening night of November 13, 2019, and closing December 1 on its way to a planned opening on Broadway. Jon Hartmere (of The Upside and the musical Bare) wrote the book, while Kristin Hanggi (Rock of Ages) will direct and Keone and Mari Madrid will do the choreography. The project has the blessing of Britney herself, who said 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.” But Britney, what do you think of Betty Friedan?