Britney Spears was obviously right when she said everyone wants a “Piece Of Me.” Though the pop star is not involved in the production, her music will now be the soundtrack for a new Broadway show, Once Upon A One More Time. The jukebox musical has announced its debut on the Great White Way, with previews beginning in May ahead of its opening on June 22, 2023.
The show was developed and produced by the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, D.C. It centers around “beloved classic fairytale princesses” who “gather for their fortnightly book club, longing for a new story,” per STC’s synopsis. “When a rogue fairy godmother drops The Feminine Mystique into their corseted laps, it spurs a royal revelation: there is more to life than bird-made dresses and true love’s kiss! Powered by the chart-topping anthems of the Princess of Pop herself, Britney Spears—including ‘Oops!… I Did It Again,’ ‘Lucky,’ ‘Stronger,’ and ‘Toxic’—Once Upon a One More Time sends audiences on a heartwarming and uproarious musical adventure about smashing the glass slipper and reclaiming your own happily ever after.”
Casting has not yet been announced for the show, which starred Briga Heelan (Great News) and American Idol alum Justin Guarini in the D.C. production. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the show is produced by James L. Nederlander and Hunter Arnold. Hip-hop choreographers Keone and Mari Madrid, who choreographed the Karate Kid musical and appeared on NBC’s World Of Dance, directed and choreographed Once Upon A One More Time.
The announcement of the Broadway run just so happens to be timed with Ms. Spears’ birthday, although again, she’s not listed as a producer on the project nor is she known to be involved in any way. According to The Washington Post, Spears saw a 2019 reading of the show and released a statement that read, “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.” (This occurred while she was still under conservatorship.)
Screenwriter Jon Hartmere, who wrote the book for Once Upon A One More Time, told The Post in 2021, “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.’” The musical apparently built around that idea, and the fact that she has a track called “Cinderella.”
“People are going to come expecting a jukebox musical light, and they’re going to be very pleasantly surprised when they recognize that this is an emotional journey, a beautiful story of discovery and redemption,” Guarini shared with The Post in the same piece. “It turns out that we are able to marry these songs that we cherish to a new set of ideas and concepts. And they take on a whole new life.”