Storybrooke Sings! ‘Once Upon a Time’ Airs Its First-Ever All-Musical Episode

once upon a time, highlights
Jack Rowand/ABC
Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas

The Disney-centric fantasy Once Upon a Time airs an all-musical episode this week—but it won’t rely on the Mouse House’s vast catalogue of songs. “We’ve always put our own spin on the iconic Disney characters, making them real people with real problems,” says executive producer Adam Horowitz. “To simply do our own version of famous Disney songs would be a cop-out. Besides, our characters have come so far. You can’t have Snow White singing ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ when she’s already landed him.”

Instead, the episode—set on the day Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) is due to marry Emma (Jennifer Morrison)—will boast an entirely original score by Broadway composers Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. The hour kicks off with a rousing number by mother of the bride Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and her man Charming (Josh Dallas, above, with Goodwin).

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“It would be ridiculous for most TV series to suddenly turn musical,” Goodwin says, “but this is a perfect fit for us because we’re already so grand and movie-esque. In fact, I’ve wanted us to do this for years—and as soon as we got the go-ahead, I went into a panic. I can’t sing in front of people without breaking into tears.” The producers tried to solve the problem by having Goodwin prerecord her song in a blacked-out booth so no one could watch her. “That helped, but I was still struggling until they suggested I pretend to be a Disney princess,” she says. “Adding that extra touch of sugar was very liberating! It became my shield.”

But no amount of sugar will sweeten the deal for the venomous Black Fairy (Jaime Murray), who is out to ruin the nuptials and create mass chaos in Storybrooke. “At most weddings, they’re worried about the weather and the catering,” notes executive producer Edward Kitsis. “At ours, you have to worry about dark curses and who might get killed. That said, Hook and Emma are also hoping for a waffle maker.”

Once Upon a Time, Sunday, May 7, 8/7c, ABC