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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

SU Theatre Presents 'Once Upon a Mattress' March 2-12

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University brings the Broadway classic Once Upon a Mattress to Holloway Hall Auditorium March 2-12 in Holloway Hall Auditorium as the first spring 2006 production of the Bobbi Biron Theatre Program.

Curtain is 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, March 2-4 and 9-11, and 2 p.m. Sundays, March 5 and 12.

An off-beat re-telling of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea,” the production focuses on a royal family whose matriarch, Queen Aggravain, has ruled that no one in the kingdom may marry before her son, Prince Dauntless. She keeps the kingdom single by foiling every marital candidate the prince entertains.

When the noble Sir Harry and Lady Larken learn they are about to become parents, however, they set out to put an end to the queen’s tyranny so their baby may be born in wedlock. Sir Harry finds the perfect candidate for Prince Dauntless’ bride in Princess Winnifred (“Fred” to her friends), an uncouth woman from the “wrong side of the swamp.” With the help of Sir Harry, the Minstrel and the Jester, she sets out to overcome Queen Aggravain and win her true love’s heart.

During its original Broadway run, the play made Carol Burnett a household name as Princess Winnifred. Years later, she brought the production full circle with a turn as the Queen.

The Los Angeles Times says the play is “witty and tuneful.” Talkin’ Broadway calls it “fun and effervescent.” MSNBC hails it as “a peppy spoof.”

“My stance on the piece is never to let anyone take it at all seriously and so it is played with plenty of pastiche and staged with sight gags and schtick galore,” said Dr. T. Paul Pfeiffer, who directs the production. “The whole takes on the feel of many of the old ‘screwball comedies’ or silent comedies of early film where gesture and facial expressions say more than any words.

“The whole should be a great deal of fun to watch.  We all only hope that our patrons will laugh at the performances as much as we have been doing in rehearsals!”

The cast includes Steve Drapalski as the Minstrel, Brian Kuhn as Prince Dauntless, Danielle Lynch as Lady Larken, Andy Lee as Sir Harry, Kelly Reiter as the Queen, Hank Brannock as the King, Don Paul as the Wizard and Abi Trent as Princess Winifred. The Chorus of Knights and Ladies and Dancing Knights and Ladies include Adam Adkins, Annie Bik, Kelsay Brady, Megan Centinio, Zach Coffman, Nikki Davis, Patrick Herb, B.J. Hoyle, Melissa Laur, John Maybury, Lessie Schrider, Courtney Taylor, Jaclyn Walters and Chase Wulff.

Dr. Victoria Hutchinson, director of the SU Dance Company, choreographs the production.

Admission to Thursday performances is $10, $8 for seniors and non-SU students. Admission to performances Friday-Sunday is $12, $10 for seniors and non-SU students. SU ID holders receive one ticket free. Children under 5 also are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. For reservations call the SU Box Office at 410-543-6228. For more information call 410-543-6229 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu. "



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