Once Upon a Mattress, Photos by Carol Rosegg
Art by Ken Fallin.
The story is based on The Princess and the Pea. In this version with music by Mary Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer. The Prince wants to find a Bride, and none of the women can get married until Prince Dauntless gets married. The Queen does not want her son to marry, so Queen Aggravain makes it impossible to pass the test. None of the Princesses could pass the test, and Lady Larkin is pregnant and needs to get married before she gives birth so her lover and hopefully soon to be husband goes off to search for a Princess to marry Dauntless. He finds the hilarious Jackie Hoffman, who plays a Princess named Fred, and she comes from the swamp. ( We wonder if she is a frog, this is a fairy tale after all)
Once Upon A Mattress is a very special show with a very talented cast. I was blown away by John Lypsinka Epperson. I have seen him do lip synching, but he was perfection in the role of Queen Aggravain. He was funny, and his gorgeous costumes took the show to a new level. Jackie Hoffman is always hilarious, and this was her perfect role. Also adored her hysterical ad libs. Lypsinka and Hoffman are a great pair.
Jessica Fontana played Lady Larkin and had such a gorgeous voice, and her beautiful pink sparkly gown made her look like a Brunette pink Barbie with a voice like an opera star. She was fabulous!
Cory Lingner was a standout with a special dance solo. This show has incredible music and dance but what brought the show together was Ken Fallin’s live drawings. I have never seen anything like it, and it made the show extra special. Ken Fallin is a very talented artist. I first discovered his art posters at Forbidden Broadway and over the years he does drawings for Playbill, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. Ken’s artwork made the show extra special.
This show runs through early January, so you need to get tickets. The show is playing at the Abrons Arts Center, and it is a clever show that needs to be moved into a larger theater Uptown.
I must thank the entire cast for this treasure and especially thank Ken Fallin for his beautiful artwork. The show will make you smile hours after seeing it. A sweet, hilarious and fun night out. Get your tickets at Abrons arts center at the Henry Street Settlement.