Britney Spears has made her way from pop princess to rehab starlet to comeback queen so many times that you would think all the one-liners would have be taken, but co-author and star Molly Bell proves everyone wrong with the musical Becoming Britney at the Retro Dome, highlighting some of the pop star’s biggest snafus, while bringing plenty of laughs. Like her, hate her or afraid to admit that’s she’s a guilty pleasure, the play proves just how engaging Spears really is. Bell shines as the down-and-out starlet with her high-energy song-and-dance routines. Co-authored with Daya Curley, Becoming Britney made its debut in 2008 at the New York International Fringe Festival, where Bell won an award for outstanding actor.

The story is set in rehab, where Bell’s Britney is trapped inside her own pink-adorned mind, where she receives musical theater therapy. That’s not the strongest plot line ever, but Bell carries the show from start to finish. The supporting cast members—the voices in Britney’s head—have their fair share of shining moments. Keith Pinto, who doubles as Britney’s love interests Justin Timberlake and K-Fed, brings hip-hop moves and snide remarks. Danelle Medeiros plays the sassy wannabe pop star, hair extensions and all, of Britney’s persona, while Lizzy O’Hara shines as the people pleaser. Medeiros also evinces some sweetness as Britney’s little sister, Jamie Lynn.

As Britney’s overbearing mother, Leanne Borghesi is driven and unsympathetic about her daughter having it all, despite Britney wanting nothing more than to perform in musicals. Borghesi is upbeat in her role as the moderator for the rehab program. Adam Barry delivers soulful dance moves and a cutthroat attitude as Britney’s manager, who will do anything to keep her in the spotlight, because to him, if you are in the news, you are everything.

With 11 original songs that pay homage to a variety of musical genres, Becoming Britney offers something for everyone, blending a bit of fact with fantasy. The catchy tune “Out of Control” has Britney hitting the club scene with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, proving that she is the ultimate party animal. The evening also features a birth scene to the tune of “Push It Out,” highlighting Britney’s all-too-famous nude bodysuit.

The musical argues that superstardom was never on Britney’s initial radar—life just happens to her. It’s not her fault the whole world is there to see her every move, and if not wearing shoes in a gas station restroom is what she chooses, then let her be.

Becoming Britney
Runs Through March 11; $33-$44
The Retro Dome,
San Jose