PREVIEW – An Interview with Molly Bell from Becoming Britney – The Retro Dome

From the paparazzi stalking me, to the hair-related mental break downs, to the carousel of boy toys, this Princess has plenty in common with that of a Pop Princess like Britney Spears. Actually, that’s a total lie. I don’t know what all that’s about, really. I’ve often wondered what separates the lives of two princesses like Britney and myself. Luckily for me, I know someone who has done quite a bit of research on the topic and offered to fill me in a bit on the Spears side of things. Molly Bell has co-written and stars in Becoming Britney which starts its run at the Retro Dome this Friday.  I sat down with her virtually to get the scoop on Britney and the show.

PRINCESS: So, my first question would have to be if you were going to write a show on a Princess, why Britney ? Why not another “Pop Princess?” or just Princess (hint, hint) What was so compelling about Miss Spears to you?

Molly: WE CHOSE BRITNEY FOR A COUPLE OF GOOD REASONS….ONE, I’M 5’3″ AND BLONDE, SO THAT WORKS OUT.  TWO, IN MY SPARE TIME I DANCE LIKE HER.  POP/HIP HOP IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE AND WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN TO ADD THESE TWO TALENTS TOGETHER.  THREE, THERE’S MUCH MORE TO BRITNEY THAN BEING A POP  PRINCESS.  MOST PEOPLE DON’T SHAVE THEIR HAIR OFF BALD IN FRONT OF PRESS, SPEAK IN AN ENGLISH ACCENT RANDOMLY, AND HAVE A HUGE GIANT MELTDOWN WHILE MAKING MONEY FOR THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY SINCE THE AGE OF 15.  THAT’S A LOT OF PRESSURE AND THERE IS A STORY THERE.  SHE’S IN CRISIS AND WE WANTED TO KNOW WHY.

PRINCESS: Was this your first show you’ve written….how do you decide to just WRITE a musical and then produce and perform it?

Molly: THIS IS THE FIRST SHOW I’VE WRITTEN.  CO-WRITER AND I DAYA CURLEY WERE BOTH IN TRANSITIONS IN OUR LIVES THAT TOOK US AWAY FROM PERFORMING FOR A WHILE.  I WAS AT HOME WITH A BABY AND WANTED SOMETHING CREATIVE AS AN OUTLET.  I APPROACHED DAYA ABOUT THIS IDEA AND OFF WE WENT.  WE HAD ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA IT WOULD GO AS FAR AS IT DID!

PRINCESS: With a live subject, were you ever concerned with your material being out dated or did you think the show could change and evolve?

Molly: NO, WE CONSIDER IT A “PERIOD PIECE”.  THE SHOW TAKES PLACE IN 2006 AND BEFORE.  IN 2012, ALTHOUGH SHE’S STILL POPULAR, OUR SHOW DOESN’T EXIST TO KEEP UP WITH HER EVERYDAY RAMBLINGS AND OUTINGS.  IT’S ABOUT A SPECIFIC MOMENT IN TIME.  SO ALTHOUGH THE SHOW HAS EVOLVED BECAUSE IT’S A NEW WORK, WE DON’T REALLY CHANGE IT TO MAKE IT UP TO DATE.

PRINCESS: Clever, I’ll not worry then about picking up the tabloids this week for research prior to the show then. Thanks for the heads up. Has Britney commented on your show? K-fed? What do you think they would say?

Molly: NO, WE’VE NEVER HEARD FROM BRITNEY OR ANYONE REGARDING OUR SHOW (YET).  WE THINK SHE’D LOVE IT.  WE’RE VERY LOVING TOWARDS HER.  WE HAVE FUN WITH HER CRAZY DAYS BUT IN THE END WE STROVE TO WRITE A SHOW THAT HAS A HEART AND DOESN’T MAKE FUN.  IF BRITNEY WANTS, SHE CAN COME IN SOMEDAY AND PLAY THE ROLE…BUT SHE NEEDS TO MAKE SURE SHE CAN SING IT!

PRINCESS: I’ll see what I can do. I’ll have my people makes some calls and see if they can get in touch with Britney. One never knows, do they? Next topic, very important, in a grudge match, who would win Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera

Molly: UGH, HARD QUESTION.  I SAW THEM BOTH IN CONCERT RECENTLY AND WAS UNDERWHELMED BY BOTH UNFORTUNATELY.  10 YEARS AGO THEY WERE BOTH AMAZING PERFORMERS.  LIFE, CHILDREN, AND CELEBRITY HAS TAKEN A TOLL ON BOTH IN MY OPINION.

PRINCESS: Very diplomatic answer. I’m thinking it would be a draw to be honest, unless Christina got her boys from The Voice to help out, then she’s have it in the bag. What have been the best and the most challenging parts of creating this show?

Molly: THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF THE SHOW FOR ME IN PARTICULAR ARE THE CHANGES. (AND IT’S A VERY HARD ROLE TO SING, WHAT WERE WE THINKING?) I PLAY BRITNEY IN 10 OR SO MOMENTS OF HER LIFE, ALL WITH DIFFERENT COSTUMES AND DIFFERENT WIGS AND A BALD CAP UNDER THOSE WIGS (HOT!). 

PRINCESS: That sounds like a recipe for chaos. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened while performing?

Molly: THE MOST EMBARRASSING THINGS THAT EVER HAPPENED WERE A) I DIDN’T GET MY GLITTER BODYSUIT ALL THE WAY ON BEFORE A POP NUMBER AND MY BRA WAS HANGING OUT AND B) MY WIG FLEW OFF MY HEAD AT THE END OF THE K-FED AND BRITNEY RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN NUMBER. YUCK!

PRINCESS: Okay I know you are a busy woman, so wrap up with telling me why we come out and see Becoming Britney at the Retro Dome?

Molly: YOU SHOULD COME SEE IT BECAUSE IT’S A GREAT WAY TO SUPPORT NEW WORKS AND ORIGINAL MUSICALS.  THIS IS THE BIGGEST OF ALL THREE OF OUR SHOWS AND IT’S EXCITING, EXCITING, EXCITING!  THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.  PEOPLE ARE SO SURPRISED WHEN THEY REALIZE THAT IT’S A REAL STORY.  IT’S NOT A REVIEW OF BRITNEY’S MUSIC.  PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED IT’S A BROADWAY STYLE MUSICAL PAYING HOMAGE TO GREAT MUSICALS OUT THERE.  PEOPLE DO NOT NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OR BE A FAN OF BRITNEY TO HAVE A GOOD TIME.  TRUST ME! THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!

Princess: Thanks for your time and best of luck with your run! I have received quite the pop princess education! Becoming Britney plays at the groovy Retro Dome in San Jose February 10th – March 11th.

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