Once Upon a Mattress opens May 9 at Mouse River Players

Written by: Mouse River Players

Hear ye! Hear ye! Come one, come all to Mouse River Players Community Theatre’s final production of their 52nd season. The lively musical, “Once Upon a Mattress”, opens May 9 through 12 (Thursday to Sunday) and May 16 through 19 (Thursday to Sunday) at the Arlene Theatre at 115 1st Street SE in Minot (just one block north of Central Campus).


This humorous musical adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” revolves around two members of the castle, Lady Larkin (Jessi Potter) and Sir Harry (Grant Johnson) who are desirous, and somewhat desperate, to be married. Queen Agravain (TSgt Christine Cherry, DEI coordinator of the 5th Bomb Wing) has decreed no one in the castle can be married before her son, Prince Dauntless the Drab (1st Lt Michael O’Keefe 5th SFS section Commander).

Although Dauntless is considered quite an eligible catch, the Queen prohibits his nuptials with unfair tests for any prospective bride, having just turned away the 12th, and possibly last available, Princess (Lauren Alexander).


Enter Princess Winifred the Woebegone (Jenna Johnson), over the castle wall, damp and covered in swamp weeds, having swum the marshy moat, to present herself as an eligible bride-to-be. Dauntless is quite taken with the atypical Winifred, but her chances appear to be non-existent when faced with the Queen’s scheming: she must prove she is a real princess by sleeping on a multitude of mattresses hiding a single pea beneath their surface. A true Princess would be so delicate that the presence of the pea would make it impossible for her to sleep.


With the help of the Minstrel (Nicole Swain), the Jester (Ed Montez) and King Sextimus the Silent (Connor Donovan) as well as all the Ladies and Lords of the court, Princess Winifred manages to overcome all the Queen’s trials to win the hand of Prince Dauntless, thereby saving the happiness of the many couples also waiting to be wed.


Rounding out the ensemble members of the court are Sir Studly (TSgt Dorian Garland 5th CES), Sir Luce (SSgt David Becker 5th LRS), 1st Knight (Andy Busch), the Wizard (Aaron Michels), and Ladies Rowena (Netty Djuric), Merrill (Dalyce Leslie), Lucille (Sara Bloom), and Emily (Anastasia Edwards). The director for the production is Ashley Nilsen.


The original role of Princess Winifred was the debut performance of a young comedian singer named Carol Burnett, who won over audiences and earned a Tony Award when “Once Upon a Mattress” opened on Broadway in 1960. Since then, the lighthearted interpretation of the well-loved story has been a favorite for audiences young and old.


While at the theatre, you will have the opportunity to see the results of our year’s long project to update our front lobby and restrooms, all thanks to the generous contributions of donors and patrons in the community. We will be adding the finishing touches over the summer months towards a grand re-opening celebration in the fall.


Prices for “Once Upon a Mattress” are $15.00 for general admission, $13.00 for students, seniors, and military (active duty, retired, or dependents with ID) and $10.00 for children under 13. Tickets for this final season production are currently available on line at mouseriverplayers.com or can be purchased the night of performance at the box office.


Come one, come all! Bring the whole family for an evening of song and laughter.

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