Once Upon a Mattress, a musical comedy, will be presented by the Aberdeen High School musical department on Friday, Saturday and Monday, May 10, 11 and 13, in the AHS auditorium. All showings begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children under 13.
The play was written as an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea. The high school production is directed by Wayne Millett. Music is by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer.
Once Upon a Mattress was first written as a shorter play, but was later expanded for the Broadway stage. Initial reviews of the play were mixed, but critics and actors alike were surprised by the show’s enduring popularity.
The original production opened on May 11, 1959 at the off-Broadway Phoenix Theatre, transferred later in the year to Broadway at the Alvin Theatre, now known as the Neil Simon Theatre, and then to several other Broadway theaters, finally playing at the St. James Theatre, for a total run of 244 performances. Once Upon A Mattress marked the Broadway debut of later stage and TV legend Carol Burnett, who originated the role of Princess Winnifred. The musical received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical as well as a Best Leading Actress nomination for Carol Burnett. A Broadway revival starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Lewis Cleale and Jane Krakowski opened on Dec. 19, 1996 at the Broadhurst Theatre and ran for 188 performances. The production was nominated for the 1997 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.
A fictional medieval kingdom is ruled by the devious Queen Aggravain, played by Aspen Poulson, and the mute King Sextimus the Silent, played by Dillon Clark. King Sextimus suffers from a curse that can only be reversed “when the mouse devours the hawk.” The day the Minstrel, played by Caden Palmer, arrives, the Queen is testing Princess #12, played by Madi Behrend, to see if she is worthy of marrying Prince Dauntless the Drab, played by Scott Shipley. It seems that no one is good enough to marry Prince Dauntless.
Princess Winnifred the Woebegone, a brash and unrefined princess from the marshlands, played by Sadie Pulliam, was so eager to arrive that she swam the castle moat. She immediately charms Dauntless, Sir Studley (Kyran Palmer) the knights and most of the kingdom. However, she also earns the utter loathing of the evil Queen, who vows to stop her.
The Queen, assisted by her Wizard sidekick (Carl Crome), design a test for Winnifred based on something they are sure she hasn’t got at all – sensitivity. They will place a tiny pea beneath 20 thick downy mattresses. If Winnifred is unable to sleep due to the pea, then she will be sensitive enough to marry Dauntless.
Other cast members include: Lady Larken (Carolee Beck), Jester (Cade Park), Sir Luce (Taylor Vaughn), 1st Knight (Jarom Hall), 2nd Knight (Alejandro Cardona), 3rd Knight (Kyran Palmer), 1st Lady Rowena (Marissa Andersen), 2nd Lady Merrill (Lauren Sargent), 3rd Lady Lucille (Cindrie Lowder), Sir Harry (Connor Sorensen), Kitchen Wench (Delilah Esparza), Emily (Shelbey Warren), Lady Mabelle (Zoe Pratt), Lady H (Lauren Klassen), Nightingale (Kamille Foster), Pantomime Prince (Carlos Guzman), Pantomime Queen (Marissa Andersen), Pantomime Princess (Catalina Cazarez), couple (Tyson Park and Delilah Esparza), Harold and Beatrice (Carlos Guzman and Madison Behrend) and 2nd Wench (Casey Krom).
The ladies are played by Marissa Andersen, Madison Behrend, Nayla Castanon, Catalina Cazarez, Delilah Esparza, Kamille Foster, Nicole Johnson, Lauren Klassen, Casey Krom, Cindrie Lowder, Patience McAuley, Zoe Pratt, Emma Reed, Lauren Sargent, Tamika Serna, Carissa Settlemyer and Shelbey Warren. The knights are played by Alejandro Cardona, Carlos Guzman, Jarom Hall, Kyran Palmer, Tyson Park and Taylor Vaughn.
Ticket may be purchased at the door before each performance.