The long-anticipated world premiere of the Britney Spears song-infused stage musical “Once Upon a One More Time” arrives Nov. 29. But it won’t be in Chicago as previously announced.
The Boadway-bound musical directed and choreographed by Drama Desk-nominated artists Keone and Mari Madrid, was set to debut at Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre last April when the production plans were derailed due to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown of all theaters and entertainment venues. The show will now premiere in a production by the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.
It’s not clear if the previously announced cast of Briga Heelan ( “Great News”) as Cinderella, Justin Guarini (“American Idol”) as Prince Charming, Emily Skinner (“The Cher Show”) and Simon Callow (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”) are confirmed for the D.C. production.
The show’s story centers on a book club gathering featuring Cinderella, Snow White, Little Mermaid and other classic storybook characters whose worlds are upended when a “rogue fairy godmother” gives them a copy of “The Feminine Mystique” to discuss.
“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,” said Spears in a 2019 statement when the show was announced.
Ironically, the Spears musical was originally slated to replace a Michael Jackson stage musical that had been set for its 2019 world premiere in Chicago. Plans for that production, which had been tentatively titled “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” never fully materialized. “MJ” the musical is now set to debut in December 2022 on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre.