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Once Upon a Mattress
a Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY CHILDREN MUSICAL
by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller & Marshall Barer

COMPANY : Epidemic Theatre Group [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The Art Place - Mountain View
ID# 3754

SHOWING : September 17, 2010 - September 25, 2010

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

If you thought you knew the story of "The Princess and The Pea," you may be in for a walloping surprise! Did you
know, for instance, that Princess Winnifred actually swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab? Or that Lady
Larken's love for Sir Harry provided a rather compelling reason that she reach the bridal altar post haste? Or that, in fact, it wasn't the pea at all that caused the princess a sleepless night? Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. Chances are you'll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again.

Tickets are $15 for all shows.

All shows at 8pm Fridays and Saturdays with a 2pm matinee on Saturdays and 3pm matinee on Sundays.

Tickets will be available for online purchase August 15, 2010 at http://www.epidemictheatre.org.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director George Canady
Music Director Annie Cook
Puppet Show Director/Builder Spencer G. Stephens
Stage Manager Jesse Cramer
Technical Director Jon Liles
Set Design Kirby Mason
Set Design Jeffrey Mayhue
Costumer Theresa Peeples
Choreographer Krystle Simmons
Costume Assistant Stephanie N Ward
Production Manager Michelle Wynn
Trombone Devin Byrne
Keyboard Annie Cook
Keyboard Stephanie Ng
Violin Jonathan Urizar
Prince Dauntless Frankie Asher
King Sextimus Stephen Banks
Lady Mabelle Rykie Belles
Sir Luce Devin Byrne
Lady H/Beatrice/Kitchen Wench Lizzie Farley
Lady Larken Christie Fisher
Lady Rowena Rebecca Hardy
Nightingale of Samarkand Courtney Loner
Lady Lucille Courtney Loner
Queen Aggravain Jennifer Loudermilk
Kitchen Wench Nova Misite
Sir Loin John Parker Jr.
Princess #12 Elisabeth Parrish
Jester Trevor Petty
Sir Harry Daniel Pino
Wizard Lee Sanders
Princess Winnifred Jo Jo Steine
Baker Glenn Varnado
Lady Merill Stephanie N Ward
Minstrel Roy Wilson
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Whatzup on a Mattress
by playgoer
Saturday, September 25, 2010
4.0
You don't go to Epidemic Theatre's production of "Once Upon a Mattress" to see its set. It's a serviceable set with flimsy-looking gray walls of various heights, but with an odd color scheme (baby blue and pink drapes, against dark blue and orange diamonds on the platforms, and a single yellow and white shield). You don't go for the solo singing either. Apart from Courtney Loner's brief, beautifully sung lullaby, there's not a lot of vocal beauty onstage. So why do you go? To have a good time!

George Canady has directed a sprightly production that starts with an inspired puppet show. Besides beginning the show with humor, it's the first inkling that the female ensemble in this show is going to be a bunch of cut-ups. Their shenanigans add sparkle to every scene they're in. They're all so good that there's no way to single one out for special mention. (Oops! Too late! I already mentioned Courtney Loner for her solo singing.) Really, though, every one of the ladies of the court brings a lot of unique personality to her role.

The leads are all good too, but it's the direction that makes them even better. The interplay between doting mother Queen Aggravain (Jennifer Loudermilk) and son Prince Dauntless the Drab (Frankie Asher) turns into a darling repeated bit of coochie-coo nose touching and cheek pinching. When knight Sir Harry (Daniel Pino) accepts a handkerchief from his love, Lady Larkin (Christie Lee Fisher), vowing to wear it close to his heart, it's a good laugh when he immediately tucks it into a back pocket. The show is littered with such humorous bits.

As for Jo-Jo Steine, in the role of Princess Winnifred (or Winnebago, as the Queen sometimes says dismissively), she's a powerhouse of energy. During intermission, I heard someone in the audience say "she's only 15," but the general agreement was that she had a maturity of performance well beyond her years. She doesn't let the fun stop.

The musical direction by Annie Cook makes for some nice choral work. The live music adds to the show, and the musicians even get into the act when the Queen makes a negative comment about the minstrel being a musician, and the musicians pop out with a don't-diss-me "hey!" It's yet another fun, unexpected moment in the show.

Costumes, by Theresa Peeples, are particularly spectacular for the Queen. Lady Larkin's gown is initially a little shapeless, but it works fine when Lady Larkin starts showing a nine-month change in shape. Overall, the costumes are medieval and colorful and fitting.

Choreography, by Krystle Simmons, isn't terribly memorable, reaching its high point in the free-form disco section of "Quiet." Lighting, by Jon Liles, seems to have a nice design, but execution was a little iffy at the performance I saw. This isn't a professional production in which everything goes right as if by clockwork, but it's fun, fun, fun to see and enjoy. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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