Pop icon Britney Spears’ music is set to feature in a new feminist fairytale musical.
Spears was once portrayed as a vapid ‘airhead’ of the early 2000s, but society’s attitudes to young female stars have been under the microscope in recent times.
So as as we seek to empower the famous women we once persecuted, one playwright has asked an important question: Why stop at celebrities when we can reframe our favourite princesses through a feminist lens too?
Jon Hartmare’s COVID-delayed, Broadway-bound musical is finally set to grace the stage and explore this concept – all to the beat of Spears’ greatest hits.
Once Upon A One More Time follows the fortnightly book club meeting of Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
A rogue fairy godmother grants their wish for a new story by dropping The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan into their laps.
The princesses soon learn there is more to life than “bird-made dresses and true love’s kiss”.
Audiences will be treated to a number of Spears’ most iconic songs, including Oops I Did It Again, Toxic, Circus and Lucky.
Directed and choreographed by Keone and Mari Madrid, the musical promises to “bust open the antiquated book of fairytales”.
Fans have taken to social media to express their excitement and anticipation for the upcoming gig.
Gimme, gimme more
The musical was set to premiere in Chicago last year, but was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Artistic director Simon Godwin sees Spears is “an American pop icon”, saying the team “has worked with her to craft a musical that reflects her joie de vivre”.
“We are beyond thrilled to have our first Broadway-bound production, and for it to be this inspiring, empowering musical.”
He also confirmed the production wouldn’t be “a jukebox musical” which uses artists’ songs to create a narrative that ties them together (think Mamma Mia!)
“Some folks might think it is a jukebox musical, but it is not,” Mr Godwin added.
“This is taking classical stories and refashioning them. I felt there was a promise of excellence.”
Sadly, Once Upon A One More Time will be premiering in Washington DC, with no word on whether it’ll make it across the Pacific to Australia.