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Britney Spears’ Hits Get Fairytale Twist in New Broadway Musical

By Jake Beardslee · July 27, 2023

In brief…

  • A new Broadway musical called "Once Upon a One More Time" creatively incorporates Britney Spears' hit songs into classic fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White.
  • The musical explores the evolution of iconic characters and encourages the audience to realize the power of writing their own stories
  • As played by star Justin Guarini, Prince Charming's journey is particularly significant as he represents a person of color.
  • Britney Spears has been intimately involved in the production, and her songs have been seamlessly woven into the script. The energy at the show is akin to a concert experience.
The new Broadway musical "Once Upon a One More Time" reimagines classic fairytales with a fresh new take on Britney Spears' hit songs., CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The hit songs of pop icon Britney Spears have been creatively repurposed to give a fresh take on classic fairy tales. The new Broadway musical, “Once Upon a One More Time,” weaves Spears’ discography into the stories of Cinderella, Snow White and other princess characters, while also providing a modern twist.

Stars Briga Heelan and Justin Guarini discussed the show’s origins and fairytale themes on MSNBC. “I thought I was being pranked for a long time. Turns out I’m not,”said Heelan, who plays Cinderella. “It was the first time I read the script. I thought it was so beautiful and so exciting. It was just something that I felt like I had to do.”

Guarini, who stars as Prince Charming, said the show allows the iconic characters to evolve. “It’s about his journey of going on that and being a person of color. It’s really awesome for me to be able to represent Prince Charming in that way.”

While not giving away too many details, Heelan explained that the characters start out conventional but eventually realize Prince Charming’s world is broader than Cinderella’s. Guarini added that the show is about “the journey of understanding that in this story that has been the story everybody knows for so long, that these characters, and also the people watching it, have the ability to write their own stories.”

The stars said Spears has been intimately involved with the production and was there with the cast during it early in development. “She was so excited. We were so excited to see how her songs got woven into the script,” Guarini recalled.

Heelan and Guarini believe the show appeals to both devoted Spears fans nostalgic for their youth and a new generation getting their first Broadway experience. “It’s so exciting. It’s such a beautiful moment to get to be doing this show,” Heelan said.

With Broadway rebounding from the pandemic, the stars say the energy at “Once Upon a One More Time” is electric. “It is like a concert experience getting to be on that stage,” Guarini said, adding that every performance is an experience.