Last Edit: Shutterbug 03:00 am EDT 05/27/23
Posted by: Shutterbug 02:46 am EDT 05/27/23

I can’t really explain it. This is one of those shows that has problems. As I’m watching I can see what’s wrong, and the rational part of me thinks I shouldn’t be liking it.

The story makes no sense. It’s really quite odd. All the famous fairy tale princesses meet regularly at a book club (or a scroll club as they call it) and get a copy of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, which upends their world. Then there’s a villainous (and unnamed) narrator, a contemporary little girl who’s a reader, a fairy godmother from Flatbush, a womanizing Prince Charming, a semi-closeted gay Prince Erudite the Celibate, and, of course, the song catalog of Britney Spears’ music underscoring all this. Mostly her big hits, but some deep cuts, too. It sounds like the recipe for a hot mess, but damn it, I LOVED this.

To be fully transparent, I am a fan of Spears’ music - so that helps. From the sound of the wildly enthusiastic audience, I’d guess there were a lot of Britney fans in attendance.

But there’s a lot of good stuff here that transcends the wackiness of the story. The young ensemble is very talented and the choreography felt fresh and exciting. There were some genuinely funny moments, the songs were as well integrated as they could be (Work Bitch and Oops I Did It Again were particularly perfect for their moments). Then there’s Jennifer Simard who’s reason enough to see this show. Her comic timing is genius, and she blows the roof off the theater with a dark, sinister version of Toxic that got a mid-show standing ovation.

The show works best when it keeps its tongue planted firmly in cheek and knowingly winks at its own absurdity. When it starts taking it self seriously - as it does in a few ill advised moments - it loses steam.

This was way more fun than the bloated Bad Cinderella. I had such a good time I may go back and see it again after it officially opens.

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