Riverland Theater puts a new twist on ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

Published 8:50 pm Thursday, November 21, 2019

Riverland Community College Theater will open its second show of the season with a fresh take on the classic Broadway musical “Once Upon a Mattress.”

Those who thought they knew the story of “The Princess and The Pea,” may be in for a surprise. According to a press release, this modern interpretation not only puts a twist on the well-known fairy tale, but also brings a new perspective to the classic musical comedy.

Prince Dauntless hasn’t had any luck finding a bride, until along comes the unconventional Princess Winnifred — but can she pass the test? Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, this story of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some shenanigans the release stated.

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Some material may not be suitable for young children.

Once Upon a Mattress features music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and a book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer. Lindsey Duoos Williams directs. Choreography is by Marny Rohr.

Musical direction is by Amalie Niethammer. The set and sound design is by John Deyo. Costumes are by Madlain Vander. Jennifer Wiebrand is the stage manager. Accompaniment is by Audrey Kristufek.

“Once Upon a Mattress is a classic golden age musical comedy with charming, hummable songs and a strong female heroine,” Williams said.

“We wanted to celebrate everything that makes this show a perennial favorite while modernizing some of the more dated viewpoints in the story. Our show is set in the late 1950s in Buckingham Palace, at a time when the royal traditions were beginning to clash with modern culture. In comes Princess Winnifred, a princess unlike any that has ever married into the royal family before, and suddenly everyone in the palace is forced to reckon with what makes a genuine princess. While we’ve taken inspiration from several real-life royal family members and their lives, the show is still pure silly, fairy tale fun.”

“We have an exceptionally talented cast,” Williams said. “Two of our leads, Princess Winnifred and Prince Dauntless, are both recent high school graduates — Chloe Guttormson from Austin and Kyle Nelson from Albert Lea,” Williams said. “It’s exciting when we have new students ready to take on challenging roles like these right out of the gate.”

“Once Upon a Mattress” at 7 p.m. Nov. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Frank W. Bridges Theatre on Riverland’s Austin Campus.

Individual tickets to Once Upon a Mattress are $16 and on sale at www.riverland.edu/tickets. Tickets may also be purchased at the Riverland Box Office, in room E107 in the East Building of the Austin campus. The box office will be open one hour prior to each performance.

The box office can also be contacted at Contact the box office at 507-433-0595 or by emailing boxoffice@riverland.edu.


If you go

What: “Once Upon a Mattress”

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Frank W. Bridges Theatre at Riverland Community College in Austin


Cast list

Wizard: Paulina Aguirre Quijano

Lady Lucille: Brianna Ahlbrecht

Lady Beatrice: Yasmin Bacelar de Souza

Queen Aggravain: Carrie Braaten

Sir Louis: Nikolai Brinda

King Sextimus: Jon Cochran

Minstrel: Morgan Dickman

Lady Charlotte: KariLynn Finley-Cook

Lady Helena: Emily Funke

Princess Winnifred: Chloe Guttormson

Sir Luce: Austin Hodnefield

Lady Mabelle: Katie Hunerdosse

Sir George: Anthony Jax

Princess #12: Blythe Johnson

Lady Merrill: Katie Lillemon

Sir Harry: Anders Nelson

Prince Dauntless: Kyle Nelson

Jester: Kaye Perry

Sir Studley: Mike Petersen

Sir Archie: Oscar Quintero

Lady Rowena: Faith Rautenkranz

Sir Harald: Noelan Riley

Lady Larken: Misha Stanley