Arts and Entertainment

BPA stages ‘Once Upon a Matress’

Jake Mallove as Prince Dauntless and Colleen Gillon as Princess Winnifred in BPA
Jake Mallove as Prince Dauntless and Colleen Gillon as Princess Winnifred in BPA's 'Once Upon a Matress.'
— image credit: Courtesy Photo/BPA

Here’s yet another family-friendly musical for the holiday season.

It seems almost paradoxical that a production with a name like “Once Upon a Mattress” could actually be family friendly at all. Some of my favorite dirty movies start out that way.

But alas at Bainbridge Performing Arts Dec. 11-21, the phrase is the title for one of the most theatrical produced shows of all time.

It’s a 1960s-era musical comedy retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson fable of “The Princess and the Pea.” Now it’s being retold, once again, in 2008 at BPA, directed by Corey C. McDaniel — whom you might’ve seen recently as King Stephen in the original medieval musical “Hail & Reign” at BPA this past fall.

“Once Upon a Mattress” is a likewise medieval musical, set in the fictional kingdom of a loquacious queen and a mute king, in the kind of production where “almost anything goes,” McDaniel said.

The show opens with the Minstrel singing the story of the Princess and the Pea, which we all think we know. But he was there. He knows the real story.

As it turns out, the princess in the story wasn’t the only princess tested to wed the Prince of Dauntless, she was actually one of 13. And the plot thickens when the leading knight of the realm, Prince Harry, discovers that his girlfriend, Lady Larken, is pregnant.

‘ONCE UPON A MATRESS’ opens Dec. 11 at BPA, 200 Madison Ave. N on Bainbridge. All ages. For ticket and showtime info, go to www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org.

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