THIS CITY IS MINE
- May 2, 2004
Unlike many jukebox musicals, this show will not be about Ms. Spears’s life (which has not been a fairy tale), but instead will offer a revisionist look at some legendary characters. In the show, a fortnightly book club whose members include Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty, is working its way through a collection of the Grimms’ fairy tales — the only book they have. But when the women wish for new reading material, a fairy godmother brings them Ms. Friedan’s feminist classic, “The Feminine Mystique,” and their lives are altered in unexpected ways.
“Cinderella is having an existential crisis, and she has a posse of famous princesses, and her stepmother is the main antagonist, and there’s also Prince Charming and a dwarf we’ve never met — the eighth dwarf — and a narrator who is unhappy his system is being dismantled before his eyes,” said the bookwriter, Jon Hartmere, who wrote the screenplay for “The Upside” and was one of the writers of “Bare,” a musical about gay Christian teenagers.
“These women have been in this hermetically sealed world, and then they start to get deeper into modern ideas — second and third-wave feminism — and also explore how stories are passed down to us, and where we get our norms from. But it’s also superfun and funny.”
The project has already had several readings — one of them attended by Ms. Spears — and will have a developmental workshop next month, Mr. Hartmere said. He said the score currently includes 23 songs from Ms. Spears’s catalog, including most of her big hits, as well as “a couple of deep album cuts.”