Fringe Festival 2008
Britney Spears Superstar
Musical comedy celebrates the tabloid pop princess
more often than it sends her up.
Molly Bell in character.
“Becoming Britney,” a
musical comedy in the 12th annual Fringe Festival in New York, really
doesn’t want to be much more than a love letter to Britney Spears,
concluding as it does with a public relations agent-type suggestion that
she might right her career by doing a musical.
If you’re going to do a musical comedy about Britney Spears, you really
ought to have something more to say either about her, or about tabloid
But the star who co-wrote “Becoming Britney,” Molly Bell (with Daya
Curley), and the supporting players (Riette Burdick, Keith Pinto, Carrie
Madsen, Alison Ewing and Sean Grady) certainly do sell this show well
enough with real song and dance talent.
Occasionally we get a little more satiric edge in this show -- the
height of which is a number where Britney dances one those sexy video
vixen routines, but while pregnant, and then has the babies in the
middle of the number and starts tossing them around with the backing
There are other little hints of parody -- such as the notion that
Britney becomes as controlling as her mother was to her, with K-Fed,
portrayed as lazy and getting high in the basement of their
Britney-funded mansion. Or “The I Want Song” and/or Britney’s vacuous
cluelessness in intervention and drug rehab clinic sessions between
“The I Want Song” is as airy as its heroine, a pretty wafer-thin joke
about the conventions of a musical and how Britney can’t even express
what she might want at the point in this musical where the heroine
If Becoming Britney’s creators are aiming to give this show a life
beyond Fringe Fest, they would be well-advised to punch up the parody in
the plot and dialogue.
“Becoming Britney” has three more performances in the festival,
August 15 at 9:45 p.m., August 19 at 5:15 p.m. and August 23 at 2:30