The jukebox musical. This can go a few ways. It can be a cut and paste job for a quick buck. Or it can be creative and original.
“Once Upon a One More Time” is a new musical inspired by the music of Britney Spears. After workshops (allegedly seen by Britney herself) and a delayed out of town tryout due to the pandemic. The show finally reached Broadway.
The show tells the story of fairytale princesses who decide to change the narrative, bond together and rewrite the ending.
I was a little skeptical when this show was announced. Given Britney’s status in recent years. This just sounded like a cash grab. However after hearing some talk about the show during previews, it sparked my interest again.
Warning: Small Spoilers Ahead
So what parts of show gets to dance at the ball?
It’s fun! Let be real, you’re seeing a princess musical with Britney Spears songs. Have a little sense of humor. The cast and writing are not taking itself seriously, all in a good way. They’re in on the joke. Making references to story books, the music and to Britney herself. At the same time it has a lot of heart and you’re rooting for characters during the show. Millennials this one is for us.
The cast. This is an incredible group of performers. Each getting a chance to shine. And again they are all having fun. Big shoutout to Justin Guarini and Jennifer Simard as Prince Charming and the Stepmother.
Clever lyric changes. Remember I mentioned “cut and paste”? This one cleverly doesn’t do that. Changing lyrics slightly to better suit the scene or the characters. It’s a detail that makes a big difference.
The choreography. There’s not much I can say here accept wow.
It’s progressive! We have prince and princesses of different body types and cultural backgrounds. We even have a gay prince in a very cute scene. What makes it more endearing is these stories are being read by a child. Yes some of it played for laughs but it makes an important point. Everyone can be a princess.
And what do I think should be sent to stories end?
The title, that’s all I have to say about it
The light up wrist band. Upon entering the theatre, a wrist band is given to you. I was told it was specifically for the end of the show. As I watched the first act I saw many ways they could have used the technology. I thought it was a missed opportunity but still a fun addition to the show.
More songs! Britney Spears has an extensive catalogue of music. While the music choices were great, some were even spot on. There were moments in the show that I felt could have had a song.
So what’s my opinion of “Once upon a one more time”? I really enjoyed it. I liked it more than I thought I would. Yes it’s a little cheesy but i think you’re prepared for that going in. If you wanted Shakespeare, go to Central Park. This was fun. There’s a lot of talent up there. A job well for a fun night out.
“Once Upon a One More Time” is playing on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre”