By: Sarina D. (’19)
Most of you are probably familiar with the story of the Princess of the Pea, but what you may not have known is that it was turned into a two-act comical, heartwarming, and vibrant musical entitled Once Upon a Mattress. This semester, Crystal students have taken on the fairy tale for their spring musical.
Once Upon a Mattress tells the story of a kingdom ruled over by the ruthless, malevolent, and unforgiving Queen Aggravain, portrayed by Bella ‘18, her silent husband Sextimus (Kirk ‘20), and her wide-eyed innocent son Prince Dauntless the Drab (Kevin ‘20). The Queen has decreed that no one in the kingdom can get married until Prince Dauntless does, yet every Princess that comes to take her royalty test in hopes of becoming Dauntless’ bride is failed immediately as a result of the Queen’s impossible test questions and intentional intimidation. This is a grave annoyance to the entirety of the kingdom, but is especially cause for concern for Sir Harry (Kevin ‘19)and Lady Larken (Natalie ‘19), a young couple that has just discovered they will soon have a child. Lady Larken is forced to sneak around so the Queen will not find out she has violated the royalty law, and she is aided by the silent king’s partner in crime, the Jester (Charli ‘20), and a talented Minstrel (Sarah ‘18) who narrates the story.
Under the unyielding influence of the Queen, prospects of marriage and happiness seem hopeless. That is until Princess 13 shows up. Brianna (‘19) stars as Princess Winifred the Woebegone, an outspoken, bold, witty, unorthodox, and unafraid Princess who is a true match for the Queen and her rules. She is exactly what the defeated kingdom needs after years of oppressive leadership and crushed hopes, and she transforms the spirit of the kingdom from fear and conformity to excitement, adventure, and individuality. Prince Dauntless and the kingdom fall in love with her as she brings energy and love into their lives. But will she pass the royalty test?
After months of learning innovative choreography and getting into the mindsets of royal attendants, the cast, which includes 30+ students from all four grades, is getting ready for opening night. Choreographed by Cindy Shanholt and Maggie Fongheiser and directed by Lauren Mayer and Matt Watters, Once Upon a Mattress is witty and heartwarming musical with show-stopping ensemble dance numbers, a wide variety of music, and comical scenes that play on the subtle miscommunications between characters, the challenges of growing up, and the overall mischievous spirit of the kingdom. It is truly “a feel-good” kind of show.
You can catch Once Upon a Mattress in the theater on Thursday, March 15th at 7:00 pm, Friday, March 16th at 7pm, or Saturday, March 17th, at 2:30pm!