‘Once Upon a Mattress’ at Horizon

Horizon Christian School presents its sixth-annual spring musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” beginning Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. in the school’s church sanctuary.

The 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical comedy is an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.”

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children and students, and are available at the school office.

Performances will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

“Once Upon a Mattress” was written and composed in 1959; its Broadway debut is what made Carol Burnett, as Winnifred, famous. The musical is a farce that takes place in the 1400s in an imaginary kingdom.

The story is narrated by a minstrel, who tells us that the tale of the “Princess and the Pea” is not quite like what all of us were led to believe. He tells the real story: By decree of the tyrant queen, no one in the kingdom is allowed to get married until a suitable wife if found for the young prince, Dauntless.

But the queen, for various reasons, does not want Dauntless to be married.

For each princess candidate, she and the court Wizard devise impossible tests — tests to see if each princess is good enough for her boy.

Meanwhile, the king — struck mute by a curse years ago — wanders the castle with his only friend, the jester.

Sir Harry returns with Princess Winnifred, a brash, wild, unkempt girl from the swamps. She turns the kingdom upside down. Worse yet, Dauntless and she fall in love.

The queen and wizard frantically devise a completely unfair test to deny Winnifred her chances — hiding a pea under 20 mattresses. If the pea keeps her awake, she’s a princess.

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