ACT to Present Fall Musical “Once Upon A Mattress”
For the Antigo Times
“Once Upon a Mattress” will be presented by the Antigo Community Theatre (ACT) the first two weekends in November at the Volm Theater.
The musical is based on the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” in which a true Princess is unable to sleep on a bed of many mattresses when a tiny pea is placed underneath the bottom mattress.
In this story, the kingdom is ruled by the over-bearing Queen Agravia (performed by Denise Hansen) because her mute husband, King Sextimus (Wayne Gagnon), is under a witch’s spell that will not allow him to speak until “the mouse devours the hawk.”
The Queen has decreed that no one may marry until a true Princess is found to marry her son Prince Dauntless (Chad Luerssen).
But the Queen, possessive of her son, enlists the court Wizard (Mike Blood) to create tests which each Princess candidate can not pass. Princess 12 (Brianna Tarras) is the latest to fail, much to the dismay of the knights and ladies of the court who wish to marry.
Sir Harry (Tim Blahnik), anxious to marry the fair Lady Larkin (Brandy Bures), convinces the Queen to let him set out to find yet another princess and three weeks later, he returns with Princess Winifred the Woebegone from the land of the Swamp Lilly.
Princess Winifred (Molly Gums), anxious to meet Prince Dauntless, swims the mote rather than wait for the drawbridge to be lowered.
After such a grand and unique entrance, Prince Dauntless is immediately smitten with the soaking wet Princess and begs his mother to test Winnifred so they can be married.
The Queen and the Wizard devise a test for Winnefred: to see if she sleeps with a pea under 20 mattresses for if she does, she is not a true princess.
This delightfully funny musical will have the audience laughing at the antics of the various court members, including the Jester (Darlaen Jansen) and the Minstrel (Dennis Klement).
As the Queen and the Wizard plot to make sure Winnifred will fail, the story twists and turns as others organize to help the Princess pass “The Test.”
The entire court is rooting for the Princess, including Sir Studley (Rodger Hansen), Sir Luce (Jason Moore) and The Ladies in Waiting: Lady Rowena (Patti Brockman), Lady Lucille (Rebecca Bonkoski) and Lady Merrill, (Joan Klehr).
Other members of the court include Lady Mabelle (Elyse Snider) visiting from France, Lady Beatrice (Peg Benes), the court dancer, and three delightful wenches: Eleanore (Rebecca Stimac), Euginie (Jenny Groot) and Emily (Diana Helser).
Rounding out the cast is Lady Claire (Mackenzie Moore), Lady Amilie (Anna Evans) and the court’s children: Daisy Moore, Abby Cochrane, and Allyssa Howard.
The musical, presented through the Rodgers and Hammerstein Music Library, is being directed by Moira Scupien. The Choral Director is Denise Hansen and the Choreographer is Elyse Snider. The Pit Band is directed by Janet Waterhouse with accompanist Carol Schaefer.
The play opens Friday Nov. 2, at 7:30 pm at the Volm Theater. Other evening performance will be on Nov. 3, 8, 9 and 10. A matinee on Sunday, Nov. 4, begins at 1 pm.
Tickets, $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 years and under, are available at Neve’s Floors to Go, Furniture & Mattress Gallery, 710 5th Ave., 715-623-5203, and at the door.