Review: Once Upon a MattressBy Laura & Mike Clark • Oct 2nd, 2005 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Arlington Players’ performance of Once Upon a Mattress [MP3 4:06 3.9MB].
Laura: Sunday afternoon we saw a performance of
Mike: That was a fun show.
Laura: Yeah. It was very lighthearted and up beat and the choreography I though was very well done. The jester was also the choreographer.
Mike: Really? I didn’t know that. I read the playbill, but I didn’t click with that character. So it was really good. The basic story is the Princess and the Pea that we all heard as a child. The princess wants to marry a prince and the queen says no and I want to prove she’s a real princess. So she, the queen, makes a bed of 20 mattresses and sticks a pea under it because only a real princess can feel that you know and she has a bad night sleeping and tada that’s the whole story. But then the play shows the story behind the story.
Laura: It was very good. The interplot was really good. The queen obviously had some serious attachment disorder problems.
Mike: She needed some help at times.
Laura: Needed some counseling going on there.
Mike: And there were other little subplots going on betwen the knight and one of the ladies in waiting. The jester with the wizard they had a little back history going on and it was kinda neat. It was a really good show.
Mike: Yeah, it was really good I liked it. The costumes were really good and the staging was good. Everything flowed well. Getting the props on and off.
Mike: Right. There was pretty much the same basic scene. Castle and battlements and things. Other things came on and off. There was the birdcage. The bed with 20 mattresses came on a few times. They had a giant dance scene and they were dancing all over the place. That was really well done. The costumes were very colorful. I thought that was a nice touch. The jester had blue tights and a multicolored checkered diamond patterned funky pointed hat whatever that’s called. With the little bells on the corners.
Laura: I liked the sound too. There were wireless mikes although I never saw anybody wearing the wireles mikes, but I saw the mikes hanging from the ceiling so I never really felt that the sound went in and out. I thought it was consistent throughout the show.
Mike: There were a couple spots very early on where they had maybe pushed the wrong button because the person started talking and you could hear them on the stage and then all of a sudden you could hear them from the speakers. That happened just a couple times at the very begining. They got over that and lighting was really good.
Laura: It was a live orchestra.
Mike: They did very well. I think you’ve got to enjoy the music to do this stuff. Even more than the theater things. I mean in the theater at least you’re up there and you see the audience. The musicians are under the stage and one little square where the conductor can put his head up to see what’s going on, I guess.
Laura: I wonder how often they practice to make sure nobody falls into the orchestra pit.
Mike: Really? They were good that wasn’t a concern. I didn’t see them doing that type thing. I’d seen this show before maybe a couple years ago done by children as a children’s version and it was roughly the same. Of course there is stuff that will be different and it will be shorter for a children’s version, but it was a good show. I would definitely suggest you go see it.
Laura: And again that would be Once Upon a Mattress performed by The Arlington Players in Arlington, Virginia. On with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.