Pop unites with Broadway in this heartwarming original musical poking fun at the healing power of musical theatre. Following the fateful night when pop-superstar Britney Spears shaves her head, she enrolls in "Promises, Promises,” a group therapy center that caters to the exceptionally beautiful and moderately talented. To reconcile differences with her over-zealous mother, her turbulent relationship to K-Fed, and her younger (now prettier) sister, the group encourages Britney to star in a musical of her very own. Britney is propelled back into the spotlight when she re-discovers the power of her own true voice.
How does a pop sensation wind up bald and trapped in her own musical? Becoming Britney is a satirical fable that chronicles the rise, dip and salvation of a foolhardy celebrity phenom. How did she get here? And can musicals save her soul?
Out of the darkness comes a beat, and Britney speaks, teasing the audience about cell phones and checks to make sure the actors are ready to go ("Some Sort of Overture"), finally announcing “Once upon a time, y’all.” It is early 2007 inside Britney’s head, and facets of her personality perform their usual ritual ("The Opening Number"). But something is off today. Britney is more out of control than they thought, so they “bring her in,” forcing her to join them in her own mind space for some group rehab.
The Moderator and a group of four hip, young adults named Man 1, Man 2, Woman 1, and Woman 2, sing about their issues, setting up a therapeutic environment for Britney. The Moderator, a living self-help book, welcomes all and introduces Britney ("Promises"). Britney lowers her hoodie, exposing her baldness. Led by the Moderator, the group shares their faults and imperfections and instruct Britney to present her story in song. Excited, Britney lip syncs her pop story ("…Millionaire Whore"). She is gently reprimanded; lip syncing is cheating. A wand is produced and she is given the power of a legit musical theatre voice.
The Moderator wants to investigate Britney’s relationship with her Momma-Rose-from-Hell mother. They try a role-playing exercise, but when Britney takes on the personality of Mama, things get mean and angry ("Stop It!"). Deep in memory, Britney tells of her beginnings in show biz, and the pressure to keep Mama happy. When they meet a talent agent who promises her fame, they pack up and arrive wide-eyed in New York City ("Here We Are"), where a casting director starts her on the road to stardom. Newspaper headlines announce Britney’s parade of successes, including her first pop smash hit.
Back at group, Britney is asked about her relationship with Justin. She is flippant, insisting there was no controversy, but then admits the publicity “was hard y’all”. Gossip abounds on TV entertainment shows as Britney and Justin give contradictory sides of the story to the press ("America’s Sweethearts").
It’s late into the show and Britney hasn’t sung an “I Want” song yet. The Moderator and group force her to come up with one ("My I Want Song"), but she’s informed it didn’t outline her quest, and did not accomplish what was needed to move the plot along. The Moderator asks about K-Fed and suggests their breakup might be the reason for her troubles. Britney insists K-Fed was a “real prince” and describes their meeting and fairytale wedding ("Love of My Life").
Now married and bored, Britney searches her soul for an answer. She resolves to do the hard emotional work, but in the end, she ends up pregnant instead ("Dig Down Deep"). In a music video dreamscape, Britney gives birth to one, and then a second child ("Push It Out"). With two screaming babies and a man-child for a husband, a fed-up Britney busts loose for a debauched night on the town with Paris and Lindsay ("Out of Control"). Britney winds up on a family intervention on the TV show “Celebrivention,” but she’s having none of it. When she threatens to pull the meal ticket from Mama and little sister Jamie Lynn, they inform her she isn’t needed anymore as Jamie Lynn is now the younger, prettier star. Britney melts down and acquaints herself with the business end of a shaver, winding up bald ("Out of Control – Reprise").
The rehab group is reset, seemingly from the beginning, like a skipped record ("Promises Intro - Reprise"). Britney is angry until the group promises they are only trying to help her, that they’ll keeping doing it until they get it right. They show her a glimpse of her possible salvation, a Broadway musical about and for her. Musicals can help her if she would only let it happen ("Reprises"). The obvious next step is a dream ballet where Britney tries and fails to “cross the divide between self-delusion and self-help” ("Dream Ballet"). Left alone and vulnerable, Britney finally makes the decision to cross into this new world that will buffer her from the stress of the real world ("Cross That Line").
Scared but determined, Britney acknowledges the past and promises to honor the present ("Here I’ll Be"). The Moderator, now appearing as an angelic force, assures Britney she won’t be alone. They will all be with her and help her navigate the real world while Britney fully exists in her own internal musical universe. Everyone is waiting for her big comeback debut. The stage explodes with light and flashy costumes, but it is interrupted by Britney, who wants a Broadway number done her own way ("The Finale"). The pop princess is queen once more, at least in her own head. And it is good.
This show is a guilty pleasure.
–Edge New York
Britney – Pop Soprano Belt: Low F to High F (High Ab in “My I Want Song,” but only a 16th note. Lower key available for this song, down a whole step.)
Moderator / Mama – Strong belter: Low F# to High F, ad-libs riffs. If necessary, the high ad-libs can be a little lower in pitch.
Justin – Db below Middle C to Eb
K-Fed – E below Middle C to high A
Female Ensemble – Highest note for Soprano: B
Male Ensemble – Highest note for Tenor: Ab
Setting: Early 2007, in the mind and memory of Britney Spears immediately after her very public head-shaving incident
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Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement. To download the show rider for Becoming Britney, click here.
“Bell’s high-energy song-and-dance tribute-portrait of Spears – half satiric, half affectionate and all brightly tuneful – is unerringly winning… A small musical with a big heart…”–Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle
“No need to resist the urge to join in the snarkery – this show is a guilty pleasure.”–Edge New York
“The original musical…was conceived by local ‘theater geeks’ Molly Bell and Daya Curley. That’s already enough to capture our interest—there aren’t that many locals around who actually write musicals—but that this outing feels so 'un-community theater'…that it shines like an Off-Broadway (OK, Broadway) baby; that it manages to hold our interest with performances so on-the-mark, so robust, and with dance numbers and original music that is as inventive as it is (effectively) cheeky, is a crowning achievement in an era where creativity often tends to take a backseat to quick moneymaking shenanigans.”–Greg Archer, Good Times (Santa Cruz)
“Co-creators Molly Bell and Daya Curley have a gem on their hands, capturing the natural comedic life of Britney Spears and yet showing that Ms. Spears has a heart. It’s a fine balance between satire and tribute, and they have managed to achieve both to great success.”–Kevin Thomas, Examiner.com
“There is absolutely nothing to dislike about this show. Even non-musical, non-theater lovers will find themselves laughing out loud, clapping and singing along with the closing number, ‘Becoming Britney.’ It truly is a must see.”–Melissa McKenzie, The Santa Clara Weekly
“If you’re hankering for a little tawdry fun, ‘Britney’ has got your back, y’all!”–Karen D'Souza, San Jose Mercury News
“Take one washed up pop princess, add some clever musical numbers and a few jabs at L.A. celebrity culture and even Broadway, et voila, the result: an entertaining, often hysterical, 90-minutes of theater.”–Clinton Stark, Stark Insider
“With all the energy of a case of Red Bull blended with jet fuel and stirred by a tornado, ‘Becoming Britney’ is a high-powered homage to musical comedy and a well-placed slap at America’s newest major religion celebrity worship.”–Pat Craig, Contra Costa Times
“The high‐octane musical…is both a parody and, strangely enough, a heartfelt homage of sorts.”–Gay City News (NYC)
“It’s a production that oozes sass.”–NYTheatre.com
“Even the real Britney Spears would tip her hat.”–Rachel Swan, East Bay Express
Materials: Your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production. They can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for Becoming Britney includes: