ATKINSON - Many a fairy tale has been converted into a
delightful film or stage show. Such is the case with “The
Princess and the Pea,” now dubbed
“Once Upon a Mattress,” which is now showing at the
confectionary of colorful costumes, some good comedy and music
- though not memorable - are pleasant enough to accompany the
Burnett put her signature on this one. Both Burnett and the
show cashed in. Since then, it has continued to be a favorite
for community and school theaters, and even dinner theaters as
in the case of Fireside, which opened this favorite to run
through October 27.
designer Robin Buerger must be mentioned upfront because of
her contributions to the success of this show. The headgear
was especially eye-catching, and Queen Aggravain’s
was particularly interesting.
minstrel, nicely played by Ned Donovan, sets up the plot in
song. Prince Dauntless, an ironic name for this coddled son of
Queen Aggravain and her mute husband, King Sextimus, is
looking for a princess to marry, but his overbearing mother
seems to be in charge of the recruits. Thus, he doesn’t have
much say in the matter.
Winnifred, solicited by the troubled Sir Harry in order to
save his skin in view of his pregnant girlfriend Lady
Larken’s dilemma, and everything changes. Dauntless is
immediately attracted to this brazen, unconventional
auditioner for the princess position, and pretty soon others
join forces with the timid Dauntless to give her a chance to
thwart Queen Aggravain’s negativity. The 20-mattress scheme
fails, and Winnifred passes the impossible test of not being
able to sleep because of a nagging pea.
Morrow gets the prize for her outstanding rendition of
Winnifred. She even strikes an amazing resemblance to Burnett,
though a smaller version. Others who deserve mention are Cathy
Newman as Queen Aggravain and Michael Haws as the silent,
oversexed Sextimus. Matthew Schwartz is good as the
overprotected son who finally speaks up.
voices from Lady Larken and Sir Henry, played by Jessica Jaros
and David Sajewich, respectively, as the pair destined to
survive the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy. The Jester is
also nicely portrayed by Darius Fearrington.
It is a
fun show for sure.
Upon a Mattress” runs through Oct. 27 at The Fireside, 1131
Janesville Ave., Fort Atkinson. For showtimes and tickets,
call 800-477-9505 or visit www.com/firesidetheatre