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Musical Comedy: once Upon a Mattress

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Once upon a mattress is a “musical comedy” that started on Broadway in 1969. The music is written by Mary Rodgers, “the lyrics were written by Marshall Barer. However, the play of Hans Christen Anderson fairy tale The Princess and The Pea”. Which are the stimuli?

When the play first started 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 children musicals.

Once Upon a Mattress is set in the 15th Century. The theme is set in the 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 with Queen Aggravain behaviour, because she has decided 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 knowing they will not pass the examination. The Queen misses out a question just to be mean “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 set at St. James Theatre, and did a total of 244 performances. “That was directed by George Abbott, choreographed by Joe Layton.” “Once Upon a Mattress marked the Broadway debt of later stage” Carol Burnett, who played the original princess Winnifred, was featured in Once Upon a Mattress. Also, Jack Gilford, Jane White and Allen Case were featured and so were 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, Carol Burnett was nominated for this. Carol Burnet then left the show and replaced by Ann B Davis.

Once Upon a Mattress opened in London on September 20th, 1960 at Adelphi Theatre. Which only had 24 performances, this shows that the show was not successful.

On the December 19th, 1996 was Once Upon a Mattress opened” by Jane by Krakowski, Sarah Jessica Parka and Lewis Create”, creating a Broadway revival, which they then ran 188 performances. “The musical was nominated for a Tony award for best revival of a musical in 1997”.

On the 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 until 1965”. The show was videotaped with a live audience and had to minimise the running time to 90 minutes, this meant songs had to be cut or even shorted, this also happened with some of the scenes. They even did not show the full conflict of Sir Harry and Lady Herkin that they got married in secret.

On the 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 the 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 in this production.

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Musical Comedy: once Upon a Mattress. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from
“Musical Comedy: once Upon a Mattress.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
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