1990 - 1991
Once Upon a Mattress
Once Upon A Mattress was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Princess and the Pea, but any close resemblance between the two is almost coincidental.
The action takes place in 1428 in an unnamed kingdom with a peculiar dilemma. The royal marriage law says no one may marry until the prince, Dauntless the Drab, takes a wife. Queen Aggravain insists that the bride be a "genuine" princess and has devised countless tests to "protect" her beloved son. The tests are outrageous, to say the least, and Princess No. 12 is destined to fail as the play opens.
With hope fading fast, Sir Harry sets out from court in search of yet another princess. Harry has a special interest in getting the prince married off, because his own love Lady Larken is already in a family way.
The princess Harry finds in his quest is Winnifred the Woebegone, who comes from a swampy kingdom where people have frogs instead of dogs for pets. Winnifred, or Fred as she likes to be called, arrives in court by swimming the castle moat rather than waiting for the drawbridge.
Fred's unconventional behavior gives the queen the idea of using a test of sensitivity to eliminate her from the marriage sweepstakes. The plan seems foolproof. First of all, get the princess good and tired doing that new dance, the Spanish Panic, at the royal ball. Then give her some warm milk laced with opium, burn heavy incese in her chamber and make sure the proper incantation is said to activate the hypnotic mirror.
How could anyone go through all that and still be troubled by a tiny pea placed under 20 thick mattresses?
Director: Paul Gaffney
Musical Director: Marlene Hudson
Choreographer: Susie Bregg-Krzyzanowski