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Becoming Britney 

When: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8:15 p.m. and Sundays, 2:15 p.m. Continues through Nov. 21 2010
Price: $25

The script for CenterREP's new Britney Spears biopic isn't nearly as lurid as the Rolling Stonearticle that preceded it. Nor is it as knotted or tangled with plot-twists as the pop star's actual biography. Nonetheless, playwrights Molly Bell (who stars in the title role) and Daya Curley (who directs) had a good concept: Accost Britney in rehab, and goad her to write a musical. What results is a perfect catharsis. Britney tells her story in flashback: Overbearing mother (Amanda Folena), Mouseketeers, Star Search, "Hit Me Baby One More Time," husbands JT and K-Fed (both played by the marvelous Keith Pinto), babies, partying, meltdown, rehab. As a rule, the star's follies and humiliations get more stage time than her triumphs. She shines anyway, leading a series of dance numbers that mimic the choreography in Spears' real videos. Bell has moves. She looks a lot smaller than the actual Britney Spears, but she can still rock a blond wig and swagger around in a pair of go-go boots. Becoming Britney runs through Nov. 21 at DeanLesherCenter for the Arts (1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek). $25.

— Rachel Swan


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