Connect with us


Once Upon A One More Time Has A Tale To Tell



The newest MTV musical to hit the boards is the Britney Spears juke box musical Once Upon a One More Time, at the Marquis Theatre.

The show features Britney’s greatest hits, but it is the book by Jon Hartmere, that elevates this show. This is a pop tart with a fabulous message and it is told with heart. The tale begins with the idea that each night, a story is selected by children all over the world to teach them that the goal in life should be a “Happily Ever After”. As the child picks a story The Narrator (Adam Godley), demand that all the roles be performed exactly as written.

Justin Guarini Photo by Mathew Murphy

The most picked story is Cinderella (Briga Heelan), who now questions everything, especially why she’s not happy. She questions Prince Charming (the uber talented Justin Guarini), who reacts with “You’re paid to be pretty and I’m paid to be charming.” This is news to Cinderella who states, “You’re being paid?”

Once Upon a One More Time broadway

The princesses photo by Mathew Murphy

How the princess stay focused is they read together. Snow White (Aisha Jackson, played at my performance by Salisha Thomas), Rapunzel (Gabrielle Beckford), Sleeping Beauty (Ashley Chiu), Princess Pea (the funny Morgan Whitley) and the unvoiced Ariel (the vocally powerful Lauren Zakrin) keep each other together.

Brooke Dillman, Briga Heelan Photo by Mathew Murphy

When Cinderella asks for more, the Notorious O.F.G., the Original Fairy Godmother (the comedic Brooke Dillman), shows up and gives her Betty Friedan’s 1963 novel The Feminine Mystique. Suddenly Cinderella sees that there is more. After finding out the ultimate betrayal, she shares the book with the other princesses. They wage a full-scale royal rebellion.

Once Upon a One More Time broadway
When Cinderella’s Stepmother (the delicious Jennifer Simard) after plotting against her loses her daughters Belinda (Ryann Redmond) and Betany (Tess Soltau), she sees the error of her ways.

Cast Photo by Mathew Murphy

What doesn’t work is the spastic choreography by Keone and Mari Madrid (BTS, Justin Bieber, and So You Think You Can Dance), who are also the musical’s directors. These high octane routines are a lot on the ADD side. These movements look better on the men than the women.

Spears’ songs work well with this self-discovery journey and the lyrical twists are rather clever. Expect to hear “Circus,” “Oops! … I Did it Again,””Brightest Morning Star,” “Work Bitch,””3,”  “Toxic” and more, though seriously they all sound the same when grouped together. All this is not vocally sung that great. It is clear the performers were choose more for their dancing.
Once Upon a One More Time broadway

Justin Guarini photo by Mathew Murphy

This cast is hit and miss. Guarini is phenomenal. He is funny, egotistically perfect and brings to mind Justin Timberlake. His dance moves incorporates Spears’ original choreography and he does it well. Briga Heelan, in her Broadway debut, grows on you and by the end you appreciate her performance. Her duet with Snow White is a duet is a highlight. Jennifer Simard, Brooke Dillman are standouts, stealing the show whenever they appear and you wish they had more to do.

Cast Photo by Mathew Murphy

The set by Anna Fleischle is more chilly and sterile. More like a MTV set than a Broadway musical. Loren Elston’s costumes in Act One are terrific, in Act Two go into the tacky and over the top mode, with no taste.

Once Upon a One More Time will certainly have an audience as there are a lot of Britney Spear fans out there and their message is so positive that you want this show to run.

Once Upon a One More Time: Marquis Theatre, 210 W 46th Street.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:


Head To The The Algonquin Hotel For Some Holiday Cheer



As we head into the holiday season, The Algonquin Hotel’s December event lineup is open to both hotel guests and New York City locals. The hotel will spread holiday cheer with a variety of festive performances, cocktails, and experiences including:

  • Cocoa and Carols Happy Hour: Daily, 5-8PM, Every evening this December, all are invited to enjoy Specialty Cocoa while Christmas carols chime at the Blue Bar. Drinks will include Mexican Hot Chocolate spiked with mezcal
  • KT Sullivan Cabaret:  December 5th, 12th and 19th, Sullivan will perform her iconic Christmas Cabaret. As noted by The New York Times, Sullivan is a thrilling Off-Broadway performer with over eight published albums
  • Rocco Dellaneve’s Rat Pack Christmas: December 7th, 14th and 21st, Rocco Dellaneve will perform iconic songs from the Rat Pack Christmas album with special inclusions of Santa with Sinatra, Rocco of the Snow, Rudolph and the Rat pack
  • The Serafina’s and Broadway Vocalists: December 8th, 15th and 22nd, enjoy the high kicking – precision line dancing Christmas tradition around The Algonquin tree. The Serafina’s will be available for pictures and autographs from 6pm to 7pm, followed by special Broadway vocalists

A portion of proceeds from all events will be donated to Toys for Tots.

Beyond the December events, The Algonquin Hotel is located in a prime position nestled in the heart of Times Square and Fifth Avenue, making it the perfect launchpad for a New York City holiday experience. The hotel is a historical jewel that emphasizes the importance of making unique, storied experiences. Since its opening in 1902, The Algonquin Hotel is famous for its timeless style and desire to honor the literary and cultural elite. The distinguished Round Table Restaurant and Blue Bar offer tasteful dining inclusions and curated cocktails that are sure to excite everyone.

Photo credit: The Algonquin Hotel, Autograph Collection


Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Countdown to Christmas: For The Dancer and Theatre Lover Chita Rivera



2o days to go! Every year people panic to find the perfect gift. We at T2C have been collecting idea’s all year long to bring you the perfect gift guide at all price levels. When you’re at the end of your rope trying to find the perfect Christmas present this year, come to this guide for some great suggestions.

Chita & Patrick Pacheco at Drama Book Shop event May 15, 2023 Photo by Merle Frimark

There are a lot of books out there this year but we highly recommend Chita: A Memoir , the critically-acclaimed book is written by the legendary Broadway icon Chita Rivera with arts journalist Patrick Pacheco. Chita takes fans behind-the-scenes of all her shows and cabaret acts, she shares candid stories of her many colleagues, friends, and lovers. She speaks with empathy and hindsight of her deep associations with complicated geniuses like Fosse and Robbins, as well as with the mega-talent Liza Minnelli, with whom she co-starred in The Rink. She openly discusses her affair with Sammy Davis, Jr. as well as her marriage to Tony Mordente and her subsequent off-the-radar relationships. Chita revisits the terrible car accident that threatened to end her career as a dancer forever. Center stage to Chita’s story are John Kander and Fred Ebb, the songwriters and dear friends indelibly tied to her career through some of her most enduring work: Chicago, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and The Visit.

Chita’s love of performing began as a child in Washington, D.C., when her mother enrolled her in a local ballet school to channel her boundless energy. Still a teenager, she moved to New York to attend the School of American Ballet after an audition for George Balanchine himself and winning a scholarship. But Broadway beckoned, and by twenty she was appearing in the choruses of Golden Age shows like Guys and Dolls and Can-Can. In the latter, she received special encouragement from its star Gwen Verdon, forging a personal and professional friendship that would help shape her career. The groundbreaking West Side Story brought her into the orbit of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Hal Prince, and Stephen Sondheim.  After Bye Bye Birdie further burnished her rising star, she reunited with Verdon and her then-husband Bob Fosse to work on the film version of Sweet Charity and the celebrated original Broadway production of Chicago.

Chita: A Memoir was published in English and Spanish and the English audio version of the Memoir was recorded by Chita.  A Spanish audio version is also available. 

“Chita Rivera blazed a trail where none existed so the rest of us could see a path forward. She has been part of some of the greatest musicals in the history of the form, from Anita in the trailblazing West Side Story through Claire Zachanassian in the underrated masterpiece The Visit, over 60 years later. She is a Puerto Rican Broadway icon and the original ‘triple threat.’ We’re so lucky to be alive in the same timeline as Chita Rivera.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“A frank and fascinating memoir from one of the truly great artists of the American Theater. Lots of stories … Lots of insight … and quite a few caustic statements from Chita’s alter ego, Dolores. An illuminating history and a guaranteed pleasure!” John Kander

Broadway legend and national treasure Chita Rivera, multi-Tony Award winner, Kennedy Center honoree, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – has taken no prisoners on stage or screen for seven decades. From her trailblazing performance as the original Anita in West Side Story—for which she tapped her own Puerto Rican roots—to her haunting 2015 star turn in The Visit. Chita has proven to be much more than just a captivating dancer, singer, and actress beloved by audiences and casts alike. In her equally captivating and one-of-a-kind memoir, Written with Patrick Pacheco, the woman born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero shares an incomparable life, both on stage and behind the curtain.

By the way this Memoir has won a Gold Medal for “Best Autobiography – English” at the 2023 International Latino Book Awards.

Click here to buy your copy.

Continue Reading


Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Spamalot



Here is the amazing cast of Spamalot. Christopher Fitzgerald as Patsy, James Monroe Iglehart as King Arthur, Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer as The Lady of the Lake, Ethan Slater as The Historian/Prince Herbert, Jimmy Smagula as Sir Bedevere, Michael Urie as Sir Robin, Nik Walker as Sir Galahad andTaran Killam as Lancelot.

I was so inspired I drew the whole cast.

To read T2C’s review click here.

Continue Reading


Ahead of the Broadway Opening of Lempicka The Longacre Theatre Is Showcasing Art Work By Tamara de Lempicka



The Longacre Theatre (220 W 48th St.), soon-to-be home of the sweeping new musical, Lempicka, is showcasing a curated selection of renowned artist Tamara de Lempicka’s most famous works. Eschewing traditional theatrical front-of-house advertising, the Longacre’s façade now boasts prints, creating a museum-quality exhibition right in the heart of Times Square. The musical opens on Broadway on April 14, 2024 at the same venue.

The Longacre’s outdoor exhibition includes works of Self Portrait (Tamara in a Green Bugatti) (1929), Young Girl in Green (1927), Nu Adossé I (1925), The Red Tunic (1927), The Blue Scarf (1930), The Green Turban (1930), Portrait of Marjorie Ferry (1932), Portrait of Ira P. (1930), Portrait of Romana de la Salle (1928), and Adam and Eve (1932).

Starring Eden Espinosa and directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin, Lempicka features book, lyrics, and original concept by Carson Kreitzer, book and music by Matt Gould, and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.

Spanning decades of political and personal turmoil and told through a thrilling, pop-infused score, Lempicka boldly explores the contradictions of a world in crisis, a woman ahead of her era, and an artist whose time has finally come.

Young Girl in Green painted by Tamara de Lempicka (1927). Oil on plywood.