Former American Idol star Justin Guarini will appear in an upcoming Broadway production featuring some of Britney Spears’ biggest hits. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Justin will play the role of Cinderella’s Prince Charming in Once Upon a One More Time, a jukebox musical that will feature a cast of fairy tale characters who belt out songs by the beloved pop princess who inspired the show.
Justin, 41, rose to fame during the first season of American Idol in 2002. He made it to the finals of the reality singing competition but ended up losing to future superstar Kelly Clarkson. Not long afterward, Justin got the chance to show off his acting chops when he and Kelly appeared together in the widely-panned movie From Justin to Kelly.
Justin’s movie and music careers never took off, but he eventually found success on Broadway in musicals, including American Idiot, Wicked, and Romeo and Juliet. He also gained some notoriety for playing the part of “Lil’ Sweet” in commercials for Diet Dr. Pepper.
Justin didn’t get to perform any Britney songs on American Idol, but Once Upon a One More Time is going to feature a number of hits from the singer’s catalog. They reportedly include “Toxic,” “Oops! I Did It Again,” “Stronger,” and “Lucky.”
Cougar Town star Briga Heelan has been cast in the musical’s lead role as Justin’s love interest, Cinderella. However, her version of the slipper-losing scullery maid might not end up finding her happily ever after with Justin’s prince after she and a group of other fairy tale princesses start questioning their single-minded dreams of being the wives of wealthy royals.
According to the plot description of Once Upon a One More Time, Cinderella and her fellow princesses will decide to start a book club, and their world views will be challenged when the O.F.G., or “Original Fairy Godmother,” introduces them to feminist ideals through Betty Friedan’s influential book The Feminine Mystique. Wrecked star Brooke Dillman will play the fairy who tries to write new endings for the princesses.
The other fairy tale royals include Aisha Jackson as Snow White, Allie Trimm as The Little Mermaid, Wonu Ogunfowora as Rapunzel, Ashley Chiu as Sleeping Beauty, and Morgan Weed as Princess Pea.
Cinderella’s wicked stepmother will be played by Emily Skinner, while her stepsisters, Belinda and Betany, will be portrayed by Mimi Scardulla and Tess Soltau. Simon Callow will help bring the twisted fairy tale to life as its narrator.
Married YouTube stars Keone and Mari Madrid are directing and choreographing the highly-anticipated musical, which will begin its pre-Broadway run on April 14 at Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre. The dates for the Broadway production haven’t been announced yet.
As reported by People, Britney released a statement expressing her excitement about the project when the musical was announced last year.
“I’m so excited to have a musical with my songs – especially one that takes place in such a magical world filled with characters that I grew up on, who I love and adore,” the singer said. “This is a dream come true for me!”
Those who are unable to make it to the live shows may still get a chance to see a version of the musical sometime in the future. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Sony Pictures purchased the movie rights to Once Upon a One More Time last April. Britney will be one of the film’s producers.