Once Upon a Mattress, opening Saturday at Theatre Macon, is a classic fairy tale with a little twist and a lot of humor.
The Youth Actors Company musical tells the story of The Princess and the Pea, following Prince Dauntless the Drabs search for a wife.
Hes a mamas boy. Hes looking for love, just trying to be happy, and I think that is something we all can relate to, said Kellen Gordon, the 18-year-old Howard High School senior playing the prince in his first Theatre Macon show.
The princes mother, Queen Aggravain, however, makes his quest for a bride difficult.
Basically, the queen is an overbearing mother who declares that no one in the kingdom can get married until her son does, director Jonathan Willis said. She then creates tests for the princesses that are completely unpassable, but the people of the castle take it upon themselves to make sure that one passes.
That one turns out to be Princess Winnifred, played by 17-year-old Madeline Dannenberg, a senior at Perry High School in her 11th performance at Theatre Macon.
I really like her. Shes someone who doesnt care about others opinions of her, shes kind of loud, and shes very independent. Ive been singing her song Shy since I was little, Dannenberg said.
Winnifred presents one of the twists in the story, as she is not a stereotypical princess. Her castle is in the swampland, and she swims the moat and climbs the castle wall to make her entrance. Though she may not appear as most fairy tale princesses do, she longs to be like them.
My favorite scene is when she sings Happily Ever After, about princesses like Cinderella and Snow White and how she wants to live like them, Dannenberg said.
Willis said the set for the show is minimal.
Its kind of suggestive of a castle, using platforms and stairs. We stuck with one color scheme for the set and costumes, in the peacock realm. The costumes, by Shelley Kuhen, are just gorgeous, Willis said. Because its a fairy tale, we didnt stick specifically to medieval times. Everything is kind of suggested.
The show is completely family-friendly and very lighthearted, with not one bit of drama, the director said, but audiences still appreciate the classic story.
Its interesting to me that people like the twists associated with it, too. Its not your typical fairy tale. It has this quirky, weird, strange female character that adults and kids gravitate to.
Once Upon a Mattress
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 11, 17-18; 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12 and 19
Where: Theatre Macon, 438 Cherry St.
Cost: $18 for adults; $12 for children and students