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Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

‘Gospel According to Britney’ – Brilliant or Blasphemy?

Promotion for "SPEARS: The Gospel According to Britney." (Photo: www.spearsthemusical.com)

Promotion for “SPEARS: The Gospel According to Britney.” (Photo: www.spearsthemusical.com)

In what sounds like a joke, the Foxwood Theater in New York, home of “Spiderman the Musical: Turn Off the Dark,” will be hosting a special reading of a proposed new show, “SPEARS: The Gospel According to Britney” on Thursday, November 7, 2013. The “SPEARS Team” refers to the show as a “Britney Spears and Jesus Christ Mash-Up.”

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In a recent press release it was announced that “SPEARS” is an original production that chronicles the life of Jesus by telling the story with Britney Spears music and while this is new for most of us, the people behind the project have been at it for a while now.

“SPEARS” is the brainchild of Patrick Blute with musical arrangements by Max Druz. The musical, which plays more like an opera, played at Columbia University’s Glicker-Milstein Theater in April 2012. It is reported that the first show sold out in less than one minute. The Kickstarter campaign for “SPEAR” described the show as “greatest story ever told” with the “greatest music ever written.” They not only met their goal of $4,000 but exceeded it by over $2000. This may not sound like your cup of tea, but, Charlotte Murtishaw of the Columbia Spectator wrote, “Little can be done to deny the star power of ‘SPEARS,’ which manages to tackle the marriage of Spears and Christ in a way that respects both deities and keeps the audience fully engaged and entertained. The musical arrangements by Max Druz, CC ’15, both preserved and adjusted each song to adapt to the tone of the story. The lyrics were effectively split among characters and created a cohesive, engaging story.”

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The reading will be directed by Michael Bello, and choreographed by Courtney Laine Self which raises some questions: When did we start referring to Britney as a deity and how do you put on a “reading” when the show is a musical and has choreography?

The rock opera is said to “tug at the heartstrings of America’s lost twenty-somethings” and will feature such songs as, “Stronger,” “One More Time,” and “Crazy,” to describe the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While trying to wrap your mind around this concept, this isn’t unlike “Godspell” or “Jesus Christ Superstar,” two productions that also have been perceived as an outreach or blasphemy.

Whether or not “SPEARS” will receive a wider audience, only time can tell. Meanwhile, the crew is currently securing the copyright.

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