Britney Spears' Musical Replaces Michael Jackson's Show in Chicago
Just a few weeks ago, we were musing about which major pop stars might get a jukebox musical. As our team batted ideas back and forth, I hastily shared this thought over email:
Will there someday be a (gasp) Britney Spears musical?
A Britney show seemed so inevitable that we didn't even mention it in our story. And it seems the Broadway gods had the very same thought: Once Upon a One More Time, a brand-new musical featuring hits by Spears, is officially happening. Oh baby, baby.
The production starts its pre-Broadway run Nov. 13 in Chicago. It replaces a high-profile, previously announced show: The Michael Jackson–themed Don't Stop Till You Get Enough canceled its Chicago run in mid-February. (The team says it is now aiming for a summer 2020 opening on Broadway.)
The artist's estate cited "scheduling difficulties" related to a labor dispute. However, the cancelation was announced shortly before the release of HBO's new documentary Leaving Neverland, which centers on abuse allegations against Jackson. In it, choreographer Wade Robson is one of two men who give detailed accounts that Jackson sexually abused them as a child. Although many MJ fans and colleagues—including former choreographer Vince Paterson—have flocked to the King of Pop's defense, the current public outcry against Jackson makes any major projects unlikely.
All of this leaves an opening at Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre for Spears' show. According to Broadway in Chicago, Once Upon a One More Time will center around a group of fairy tale princesses engaged in a book club that only reads Grimm's Fairy Tales. That is, until one day when Cinderella wishes for fresh reading material. That's when "a rogue fairy godmother drops The Feminine Mystique in her corseted lap." In this journey from pretty princess to something more, expect to hear signature Britney hits like "Stronger," "Lucky," "Toxic," and, of course, "Oops!... I Did It Again."
Here's another reason to get pumped: Keone and Mari Madrid are on board to choreograph. The charming duo, not to mention super-cute married couple, have had major success with their playful blend of contemporary and hip hop. After raking in 1.4 billion views for starring in Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" video, we're sure they can make magic onstage with Britney Spears' music.
One thing we're less sure of: how poor Cinderella will turn out. Ah, to be not a girl, not yet a woman...
More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:
"Is your daughter the dancer?"
"Actually," I say, "I am."
"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"
"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."
Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.
You nominated your favorite dance moments so far in 2019, and we narrowed them down to this list. Now it's time to cast your vote to help decide who will be deemed our Readers' Choice picks for the year!
Voting is open until September 17th. Only one vote per person will be counted.
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
The 2019–20 season is here, and with it more performances than any one person could reasonably catch. But fear not: We polled our writers and editors and selected the 31 most promising tickets, adding up to one endlessly intriguing year of dance.