Tri-State Theater

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Monday, November 15, 2010

A Story About "Once Upon a Mattress"

Sunday's edition of the Herald-Dispatch featured a new story about the musical comedy Once Upon a Mattress, and the website featured an additional photo gallery, which you can see right here.

If you missed it, here's the story by Lacie Pierson:
When Sarah Jessica Parker starred in a Broadway revival of Once Upon a Mattress in 1996, several of the members of the First Stage Theatre Company hadn't even been born.

That didn't stop more than a dozen students between the ages of 11 and 18 from putting on a performance of the musical in front of a packed Renaissance Theater in Huntington on Friday and Saturday nights.

"Some of these kids have been in dozens of shows, and, for some, it's their first. If you come here and bring something special to the table, we're going to pull you up and show your talents," Amy Browning, director of the show, said. "Everything from the performers, to the costumers, to the sound and lights are done by the kids -- with some supervision. Not everyone wants to be on stage, and we want to make sure each person finds their calling."

Once Upon a Mattress was written as an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea in 1959. Carol Burnett was the original Princess Winifred in the play, but a handful of aspiring actors from throughout the Tri-State were more than prepared to fill the shoes of Burnett and Parker this weekend.

"It's so much fun. It's great to be around people who are such good and funny people," said Madeline Southall, a 17-year-old junior at Nitro High School, who portrays Lady Larkin in the show. "It's more complex than just getting up there and singing. It's an opportunity to expand on what I've been able to do in school. It's really exciting."

Southall said this was one of her first performances outside of school, but Kristin Caviani, a 16-year-old junior at Huntington High School, has been in more than 20 productions in the Tri-State.

She said while she enjoys the opportunity to polish her performing skills, she hopes that her efforts benefit the audience, as well.

"I want people to leave this performance in a better mood than they came here with," Caviani, who portrays Queen Aggrabain, said. "People should just give it a try, you'll never know if you like a show or the arts if you never give it a try. If nothing else, it's a way for people to know that not all kids are bad, and there are plenty of good teenagers out here in the world."

Once Upon a Mattress
will be presented next weekend at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. For more information,call 304-416-KIDS (5437) or visit www.firststagetheatre.org.


Anonymous said...


I would like to attend Once Upon a Mattress this weekend and bring KAtie and Danny, but I am recovering from hip replacement surgery and there is no way I can climb those front steps at this point. Do theater goers have access to an elevator from the ground level so they can attend? I'd hate to miss the show! Thanks! Laura Fulks

Chuck Minsker said...

Laura, go in the entrance under the steps in the front at the old Huntington High School (vehicles can drive under the steps, too), go in the entrance there and turn to the right - the elevator is down the hall. Hope you enjoy the show!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chuck!