Spring arrives to Franklin Park Arts Center with Once Upon a Mattress, a musical comedy for all ages. By staging this retelling of The Princess and the Pea, Main Street Theater contrasts its fall production of Oliver! With its colorful set, funny plot twists, quirky characters and fantastic costuming, this production is the perfect exclamation point to end the season.
From the moment the show opens, theater goers find themselves in the middle of a fairy tale they won’t want to leave. Winifred’s ironically hilarious song “Shy” as sung by Abby McDonough will bring the house down in the first few minutes of the show. But not to be outdone is Prince Dauntless (Matt Curtis) spelling out his love for Winnifred, better known as F-R-E-D in the robust and hilarious drinking song. Perhaps what is most amusing is that Matt Curtis, who has just become a daddy in real life, plays a prince who has never really grown up. Dressed in a bib, footie pajamas and reigning in a regal high chair, what a difference from Fagin, the wily thief, in Oliver!
The second romance is between Lancelot-like Knight Harry (Justin Mohay) who has more than wooed Larkin. As Harry, Mohay is hilarious especially since this knight’s armor is anything but shining. As Lady Larkin, Alie Campbell displays her versatility in the female ingénue role. Mohay and Campbell’s duet of “In a Little While” and “Yesterday I Loved You” are beautifully melodic and show off their vocal skills.
The Jester (Zoe Lucas) brings a quirkly intelligence to the role as she interprets for the muted and spell-bound King (Will Stewart). Queen Aggravain (Beth Jacobsohn) as the overbearing mother mows down Dauntless as well as the entire audience, until Winnifred arrives. Jacobsohn shows anything but “Sensitivity” as she belts all the way to the ball fields of Franklin Park.
With a kingdom cast in Crayola colors, songs equally as bright and cheerful, fifteen princesses from all over the world accompanied by knights in shining armor, Director Karlah Louis offers up a family-friendly feast fit for a king. And if (borrowing the title of Fred’s song), you don’t find yourself “Happily Ever After,” it’s your own fault!
Show Dates: April 24-26 and May 1-3, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm. Sundays at 2pm.
Ticket Prices: Student/Senior 65 and older $20. Adults: $23.
Website: mainstreettheaterproductions.org with direct online ticket link at ShowTix4U.com (Search Main Street Theater – Mattress)
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