Filipino Couple Co-Directs and Choreographs A Musical

Two Filipinos are the brains behind “Once Upon a One More Time,” a jukebox musical featuring Britney Spears’ songs.

Britney Spears is known for her songs that took over everyone’s CD players in the early 2000s. With hits like Toxic and Hit Me Baby (One More Time),  Spears cemented her legacy as a pop icon.

This year, the singer’s widely-loved tunes are making their way to Broadway through the jukebox musical “Once Upon a One More Time,” which will open on June 22 at the Marquis Theatre in New York. 

The Broadway musical revolves around six fairy tale princesses who had a feminist awakening after reading a book entitled “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan, which was written in 1936. The show made its world premiere in Washington, D.C. last December 2022, and received mostly good reviews.

Keone and Mari Madrid
Keone and Mari Madrid/Photo via Instagram @keonemadrid

Behind the scenes

Behind the show’s red curtains are two brilliant Filipinos: Keone and Mari Madrid. They both serve as co-directors and co-choreographers of the show. The married couple hail from Carlsbad, California, and have built a successful career performing and creating choreography for television, music videos, and awards shows. 

Keone and Mari Madrid
Keone and Mari Madrid/Photo from Keone and Mari Madrid’s website

The award-winning team’s innovative dance vocabulary and dedication to using a range of “human gestures”—movements based on human anatomy and experiences that tell are meant to tell a story. This creates work that resonates with a wider audience.

Aside from choreographing for big artists like Justin Bieber and Billie Eilish, the couple has also established a dance studio called BB360 (Building Block Dance 360). 

Keone and Mari Madrid
Keone and Mari Madrid/Photo from Keone and Mari Madrid’s website

In a recent Instagram post, Keone expressed his disbelief and excitement about their musical project.

“Took these photos a few days ago on our 15 year being-a-couple-anniversary – which was also our first work day inside a Broadway theater as director/choreographer. Couldn’t have written it and even if you did we wouldn’t believe it. So much to say on this later but for now… Broadway, here we come,” the choreographer captioned.

Banner photo from Keone and Mari Madrid’s website.

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