Britney Spears “set boundaries” on the Broadway musical that features her music

Briga Heelan as Cinderella in ‘Once Upon a One More Time’; Matthew Murphy

Once Upon a One More Time, the Broadway musical that features Britney Spears‘ music, is closing this Friday. But according to its star, Britney was more involved with the show than you might think.

Briga Heelan, who has starred as Cinderella in the musical since it played in Washington, D.C., tells People there was a “step-by-step process of making sure that everything aligned with her wishes.”

“She had set boundaries about what she did and absolutely did not want this show to be about,” Heelan says. “I know the show certainly respected those boundaries.” 

Once Upon a One More Time is an update on classic fairy tales: Cinderella decides she’s sick of the fact that marrying a prince is always the path to happily ever after, so she experiences a feminist awakening and rewrites her narrative.

Heelan adds that Britney loves musical theater, noting, “We get to do this in a medium that she really loves and did when she was younger too. We get to sing her songs and hopefully bring some levity right now, and some hope, happiness, joy and all of that, while respecting the boundaries that she set up.”

Asked if she was a Britney fan before the musical, Heelan says, “Huge. Was I listening to her music actively all the time before this audition? Yes. She’s just in the fiber of who I am.”

As for Britney’s difficult journey over the past few years, Heelan says, “Learning the horror that woman went through, seeing how much she survived and how protective her fans are of her — myself included — that need and desire to be protective of her is so warranted. It’s such a testament to how beloved she is.”

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