The cast of "Once Upon a Mattress" rehearses for tonight's opening at the Oak Bluffs School. Photos by Ralph Stewart
Prince seeks his princess
Tonight the curtain will rise on the latest fall musical from the Oak Bluffs School, "Once Upon a Mattress," featuring dozens of enthusiastic young thespians who have been rehearsing since the first week of school. The play is a whimsical reworking of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea," and in its original run in 1959 was the star vehicle for a young Carol Burnett.
Queen Aggravain (Sarah Swift), the not-so-nice mother of Prince Dauntless. Will Princess Fred pass the queen's test?
This version features more than 40 young actors and actresses, including the school's principal, Laury Binney, playing the role of the singing minstrel and narrator. In the lead role, the animated Ashley Girard shines as Winifred the Woebegon, princess of the Swamplands, who aspires to marry Prince Dauntless the Drab (Taylor MacNeely.) Unfortunately, the domineering and talkative Queen Aggravain, regally and wickedly portrayed by Sarah Swift, seems determined to prevent her only son from marrying anyone. She devises impossible examinations for all prospective brides, culminating in the classic and famous "sensitivity test" for princess Winifred, placing a pea underneath 20 mattresses and planning to fail her if she falls asleep.
"Once Upon a Mattress," Thursday, Nov. 9, Friday, Nov. 10, Saturday, Nov. 11, at 7 pm, and Sunday, Nov. 12, 4 pm, at Oak Bluffs School, Trade Winds Road. Tickets are $8 or $6 for students and available at the door.