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News / Theater & Performance

A Broadway musical based on the pop hits of Britney Spears will debut in Chicago this fall

Britney Spears
Photograph: Randee St. Nicholas

Britney Spears stans, rejoice! Ahead of a Broadway run, a new musical featuring the Princess of Pop's greatest hits called Once Upon a One More Time will make its world premiere at the James M. Nederlander Theatre this fall.

The plot of the jukebox musical doesn't focus on Spears' meteoric rise to fame, so don't expect a time-hopping career retrospective a la The Cher Show (so much for a climactic head-shaving sequence set to "My Prerogative"). Instead, Spears' catalog of hits will be interspersed amid the tale of book club made up of fairy tale princesses like Snow White and Cinderella, who get an education in feminism when a fairy godmother introduces Betty Friedan's classic book, The Feminine Mystique, and challenges their perceptions of "happily ever after."

The show's book comes from screenwriter Jon Hartmere, who recently penned the sappy Kevin Hart movie The Upside and used to help Ashton Kutcher pull off pranks on MTV's Punk'd. Tony-nominated director Kristin Hangii (Rock of Ages) will helm the production, which features choreography from YouTube star couple Keone and Mari Madrid.

The pre-Broadway engagement of Once Upon a One More Time will replace the previously-planned run of Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, a bio-musical following the life of Michael Jackson. The Jackson musical was set to premiere at the Nederlander in October, but producers claim that a recent Actors' Equity strike threw off its schedule (the release of the shocking Leaving Neverland documentary, which chronicles Jackson's alleged sexual abuse of children, likely also played a role in the cancellation). Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough will now skip a Chicago run and premiere on Broadway in summer 2020.

Once Upon a One More Time opens November 13 and will run through December 1. If you want to see how songs like "Oops!... I Did It Again" fit into a feminist fairy tale narrative, you'll need to snag a ticket when they go on sale on August 4.

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