An irreverent take on the classic story of "The Princess and the Pea," Once Upon a Mattress follows swamp princess Winnifred through her ordeals to win the hand of the dashing prince from the clutches of the wicked Queen. Order your Once Upon a Mattress tickets now to see this quirky musical live.
Once Upon a Mattress Information
About the Show:
Once Upon a Mattress is a musical comedy with music by Mary Rodgers (Working), lyrics by Marshall Barer (Ziegfeld Follies), and a book by Barer, Jay Thompson, and Dean Fuller. It is based on the classic fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea," but incorporates a comedic twist and a score of both hilarious and touching songs, including "Shy," "The Swamps of Home," and "Happily Ever After."
Once Upon a Mattress premiered off-Broadway on May 11, 1959, and moved to Broadway shortly thereafter, running for 244 performances. The original cast included Carol Burnett (Putting It Together, TV's The Carol Burnett Show) in the lead role of Princess Winnifred, a role later played by Sarah Jessica Parker (Annie, TV's Sex and the City) in the 1996 Broadway revival, which also featured Jane Krakowski (Nine, TV's 30 Rock). Several domestic and international productions later, the show remains popular among schools and community theatres. Order your Once Upon a Mattress tickets now to see this wacky classic.
A medieval kingdom is ruled over by the evil Queen Aggravain and her husband, King Sextimus the Silent, so named because he is cursed to be mute until "the mouse devours the hawk." The Minstrel sings of "The Princess and the Pea," one of 13 girls who vied to marry Prince Dauntless the Drab. The Queen tests the girls with unfair questions so that they can not be deemed worthy, and she passes a law that nobody in the kingdom can get married until the prince does so, which angers her subjects. When the greatest knight, Sir Harry, discovers his girlfriend, Lady Larken, is pregnant, she offers to run away to save him the embarrassment of bearing an illegitimate child, but he vows to find a suitable princess for the Prince instead.
One day, Princess Winnifred the Woebegone arrives at the castle, having swum the moat in excitement. She charms all the men of the castle, but her brash, unrefined ways earn her the loathing of the Queen. Elsewhere, the King discovers Lady Larken's pregnancy, but tells only the Minstrel and the Jester, who worry about his ability to keep the secret. Meanwhile, the Queen thinks up an impossible test for Winnifred: she will place a pea beneath twenty mattresses, and if Winnifred is unable to sleep, she will be deemed sensitive enough to wed Prince Dauntless.
One day, Winnifred regales the castle of her home in the swamp and meets the King, who immediately likes her. Later, Lady Larken comes upon Winnifred cleaning up after breaking a vase and mistakes her for a maid. Sir Harry is angered by her mistake and they fight until Larken says she will run away and never see him again. The King, Minstrel, and Jester initially try to stop her, but then help her to escape. At a ball, the Queen tests Winnifred by making her dance "The Spanish Panic," but she impresses everyone is the last one left dancing. Winnifred then easily lifts an impossibly heavy barbell that Dauntless couldn't even lift and they admit their love for one another. Winnifred (who admits that her nickname is "Fred") then practices skills that she thinks she may be tested on, including singing, dancing, acting, playing the lute, wrestling, and drinking herself under the table.
Later in the night, the Queen catches the King, Minstrel, and Jester trying to help Larken escape, and the Minstrel tries to cover for her, saying he was escaping with her against her will, for which the Queen punishes him with banishment, to be carried out by daybreak. Inspired by a chat with Fred, Larken finds Sir Harry and they reconcile. At bedtime, the Queen brings in various people to try to get Winnifred to sleep, but she can't because of a lump in the bed. Despite the Queen's attempts to cover it up, Dauntless is ecstatic to hear that Winnifred has passed the test. Finally sick of his mother's controlling ways, he finally stands up to her and she finally pays for her wicked ways... See this funny twist on a classic story in its entirety with your own Once Upon a Mattress tickets!
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