Once upon a mattress is a “musical comedy” that started in Broadway in 1969.
The music is written by Mary Rodgers, “the lyrics was written by Marshall
Barer. However, play of Hans Christen Anderson fairy tale The Princess and The
Pea”. Which is the stimuli.
When the play first stared out there were
mixed reviews, however the play became successful and popular with critics and
actors. Once upon a mattress is mostly used in education programs.
Mary Rodgers, wrote music for
Once Upon a Mattress is set in the 15th Century. The theme is set
in a Medieval Kingdom. The kingdom is ruled by a malleolus Queen Aggravain, The
King Sextimus can’t talk because he has been cursed by a witch and the only way
to remove this curse is “When the mouse devours the hawk”. The Kingdom is not happy because the mean
Queen Aggravain, has decide that no one can get married until her son the
Prince Dauntless get married to a princess of a descendant of royal blood. The
Queen gives princess ridiculous test to prove if they are worthy of being with
the prince. In this scene, the Queen is
questioning the 12th princess with and unfair examination. The Queen
misses out a question out of spite “What was the middle name of the
daughter-in-law of the best friend of the best friend of the blacksmith who
forged the sword that killed the beast”
The first production an off-Broadway
Phoenix Theatre started May 11th, 1959, then moved to Alvin Theatre
later on in the year, which is now known Neil Simon Theatre, then moved to many
more Broadway theatre. Then to setting at St. James Theatre, and did a total of
244 performances. That was directed by Geogre Abbott, choreographed by Joe
Layton. “Once Upon a Mattress marked the Broadway debt of later stage”
Carol Burnett, who played the original princess Winnifired, was featured in Once
Upon a Mattress. Also, Jack Gilford, Jane White and Allen Case were featured
and many more. Jane White acted the role Queen Aggravain. “Jack Gilford took
the role of king Sextiums the silent and was replaced later by Will Lee”. The
musical was nominated for a Tony award for best musical and best leading
actress. Who Carol Burnett was nominated for, Carol Burnet left the show and Ann
B Davis replaced her.
Once Upon a Mattress opened in London on September 20th, 1960 at
Adelphi Theatre. Which only ran 24 performances.
On December 19th,
1996 was Once Upon a Mattress opened by Jane by Krakowski, Sarah Jessica
Parka and Lewis Cleate, creating a Broadway revival, which ran 188
performances. “The musical was nominated for a tony award for best revival of a
musical in 1997”.
On 3rd June 1964,
Once Upon a Mattress was aired, this was the first adaptation to be put
on television. It was videotaped in black and white, 1960 was the era that
colour television came out however people did not start transitioning to colour
television till 1965. It was videotaped with a live audience and had a running
time reduced to 90 minutes, this meant songs had to be cut or even shorted,
this also happed with some of the scenes. They even downplayed the conflict of
Sir Harry and Lady Herkin that they got married in secret.
On December 12th,
1972, the second television productions were created. The play was taped in
colour, this meant that it took them eight years to get it into colour.
However, in this production, they had Carol Burnnet, Jack Gilford and Jane
White who are the original cast of the Broadway of Once Upon a Mattress.
On the other hand, they then repeatedly had to cut songs and characters or even
combined them. The Wizard and the Minstrel were cut from this production.
On December 18th,
2005, third Once Upon a Mattress was aired on ABC, in the United States
of America at Disney. The DVD was released two days later. Coral Bernett played
Queen Aggravin and “Denis O’Hare as Prince Dauntless, Tom smothers as King
Sextimus, Tracey Ullmon as Princess Winnifred, Zooey Deschanel as Lady Larken,
and Matthew Morrison as Sir Harry.” Kathlem Marshell was the director and
executive producer. Once again cuts were on this production.