The Spears jukebox musical, with a Hartmere-penned book, sets hit songs including “Oops! I Did It Again,” “Stronger,” “Toxic” and “Lucky” to an irreverent take on classic fairy tale princess stories. A production was was set to begin previews in Chicago last April before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
Prior to Once Upon a One More Time, Hartmere wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the book of the Off Broadway musical Bare. More recently, he wrote the screenplay for The Upside, the 2017 film starring Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart and Nicole Kidman, and directed by Neil Burger.
Hartmere has also developed projects for Fox, Disney, Amazon, Paramount, TWC, Miramax, Nickelodeon, Sony, MGM and Sesame Street Productions. With the agency signing, he joins Verve’s growing roster of theater talent including Bob Martin (The Prom), Emily Mann (Anna in the Tropics) and Robert Horn (Tootsie).
Just prior to the pandemic shutdown last March, producers of Once Upon a One More Time had announced that the Chicago production’s cast was to include Briga Heelan as Cinderella, Justin Guarini as Prince Charming and Emily Skinner as Stepmother. Plans for a post-pandemic return to Chicago or a Broadway production have not been announced, but with Spears’ recent focus in the public spotlight via the Framing Britney Spears documentary, a return of the musical would seem likely.
Hartmere continues to be represented by attorney Fred Toczek at Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson LLP.