“We’re simply actually proud to have made the contributions to take it to that subsequent degree,” stated Chris Jennings, government director of the Shakespeare Theatre in D.C., the place the musical ran from November 2021 to January, promoting out the 774-seat Sidney Harman Corridor and incomes a one-week extension.
Jennings informed The Washington Publish that the high-octane, extraordinarily non-biographical musical — his firm’s first full manufacturing because the pandemic started — was the best-selling present in its 36-year historical past. “This present was such a present and so important after having been shut for therefore lengthy,” he stated.
A slew of latest Broadway reveals, together with the now-running “MJ the Musical” about Michael Jackson and “A Lovely Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical,” have adopted a biographical components, weaving the artists’ songs right into a plot constructed round their life story.
“As soon as Upon a One Extra Time” goes a extra fantastical route, deploying Spears chart-toppers resembling “Oops! … I Did It Once more,” “Circus” and “Poisonous” because it tells a storybook-like story wherein Cinderella, Snow White and their fellow princesses expertise a feminist awakening after studying Betty Friedan’s “The Female Mystique.” It avoids the possibly thorny problem of navigating the 41-year-old pop star’s private life, together with a recently terminated conservatorship that gave her father and others virtually full management over her private life and funds.
“The one factor I used to be informed was that [Spears] loves fairies,” the present’s author, Jon Hartmere, informed The Publish final fall. He stated he was additionally given entry to Spears’s total discography. “And I used to be like, ‘That’s it, that’s what we’ve obtained to go on.’ ”
Spears has not been actively concerned in its improvement. “I’m so excited to have a musical with my songs, particularly one which takes place in such a magical world stuffed with characters that I grew up on, who I like and adore,” Spears stated in a press release after attending a studying of the present in 2019. Her publicist didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark concerning the present’s Broadway run.
“As soon as Upon a One Extra Time” will transfer into the Marquis Theatre after “Beetlejuice” — one other musical that originated in D.C. — performs its remaining efficiency there Jan. 8.
The present’s Broadway solid might be introduced at a later date. It’s directed and choreographed by the married group of Keone and Mari Madrid, skilled hip-hop choreographers helming their first Broadway present. They’ll be aided by inventive guide David Leveaux, a five-time Tony-nominated director. Scenic designer Anna Fleischle and costume and hair designer Loren Elstein will return after engaged on the D.C. staging, and Tony-winning lighting designer Kenneth Posner (“Depraved”) will be a part of the manufacturing.
The D.C. run featured sitcom veteran Briga Heelan (“Floor Ground,” “B Optimistic”) as Cinderella and “American Idol” alumnus Justin Guarini as Prince Charming. Jennings stated the Shakespeare Theatre could have a monetary curiosity within the musical’s Broadway run.
“If the present [is] profitable, this might be of a future monetary profit to the theater, which permits us to reinvest within the work that we do and the event of different works,” Jennings stated.
In a blended evaluation final December, Publish theater critic Peter Marks referred to as “As soon as Upon a One Extra Time” a “vigorous present that you just want would decelerate to catch its breath,” however expressed curiosity in its future. “That potential makes me suppose it will likely be worthwhile someday down the highway to see the present at the very least as soon as extra, upon a another time.”
Tickets for “As soon as Upon a One Extra Time” go on sale to most of the people Monday.