DMT Presents ONCE UPON A MATTRESS

DMT Presents ONCE UPON A MATTRESSThe Douglas Morrisson Theatre (DMT) opens its 2018-19 season to Once Upon a Mattress, with performances running September 13-30, 2018.

Book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer, music by Mary Rodgers, and lyrics by Marshall Barer, DMT's production of Once Upon a Mattress directed by John Maio features Megan Bartlett as Princess Winnifred, Alicia von Kugelgen as Queen Aggravain, Michael Sally as King Septimus, Nick Sears as Prince Dauntless, Erin Reiss as Lady Larkin, Matt Skinner as Sir Harry, Mark Enea as The Minstrel, Gregory Lynch as The Wizard, and Jim Rupp at the Jester.

This light-hearted romp is a comic retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story, The Princess and the Pea. Prince Dauntless is ready to find his princess but Queen Aggravain insists that for any princess to win her son's hand, she must pass a test to prove that she is a genuine princess. Enter Winnifred, an unconventional princess, who hopes to fare better than the 12 princesses before her who tried and failed. The rest of the Kingdom, under a strict law enacted by the Queen, must wait to marry until Dauntless has found his bride ("Throughout the land no one may wed, 'till Dauntless shares his wedding bed."). In fractured fairytale fashion, this musical pokes fun at its own medieval tropes, and infuses the story with a modern sensibility.

Once Upon a Mattress opened off-Broadway in 1959 at The Phoenix Theatre directed by George Abbott and starring newcomer Carol Burnett as Winnifred. The show moved to Broadway in 1960, earning Tony nominations for Best Musical and Best Lead Actress in a Musical for Ms. Burnett. It was produced for television first in 1964 and again in 1972 with Ms. Burnett reprising her role both times. In the fall of 1995, Dodger Productions brought Once Upon a Mattress back to Broadway with Sarah Jessica Parker taking on the role of Winnifred. Carol Burnett appeared in the ABC television version of Once Upon a Mattress in 2005, this time as the imposing Queen Aggravain, while the esteemed British comedienne Tracey Ullman stepped into Winnifred's moat-swimming shoes. The production was directed by Tony Award-winning director Kathleen Marshall.

Jay Thompson co-wrote the book for Once Upon a Mattress and wrote the book, music and lyrics for the operaThe Bible Salesman, as well as the one-act musical The Oldest Trick in the World. He also wrote Pocketful of Wry, a musical revue. In addition to composing words and music for the song "Jimmy" which was sung by Julie Andrews in the film Thoroughly Modern Millie, Thompson has created special material for Carol Channing, Dorothy Loudon, Imogene Coca and other funny ladies. As a director, he worked on Once Upon a Mattress, Born Yesterday, Pocketful of Wry, Annie, Forum, Sweet Charity, Steel Magnolias Laughing Matter, and The Oldest Trick in the World.

Dean Fuller co-wrote the book for Once Upon a Mattress, contributed music (with lyrics by Marshall Barer) to revues Once over Lightly (Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Sono Osato), New Faces of 1956 (Tiger Haynes, Inga Swenson, Maggie Smith) and Ziegfeld Follies (Beatrice Lillie). Musical director and arranger for Tallulah Bankhead's only nightclub appearances (Sands Hotel, Las Vegas). Composer, National Repertory Theatre (Eva LeGallienne, Denholm Elliott, Farley Granger, Sylvia Sydney). Co-author/composer of the Off-Broadway musical Smith. Author of three novels: Passage, A Death in Paris and Death of a Critic.

Dean Fuller co-wrote the book for Once Upon a Mattress, contributed music (with lyrics by Marshall Barer) to revues Once over Lightly (Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Sono Osato), New Faces of 1956 (Tiger Haynes, Inga Swenson, Maggie Smith) and Ziegfeld Follies (Beatrice Lillie). Musical director and arranger for Tallulah Bankhead's only nightclub appearances (Sands Hotel, Las Vegas). Composer, National Repertory Theatre (Eva LeGallienne, Denholm Elliott, Farley Granger, Sylvia Sydney). Co-author/composer of the Off-Broadway musical Smith. Author of three novels: Passage, A Death in Paris and Death of a Critic.

Mary Rodgers' earliest professional credits included serving as Assistant to the Producer of Leonard Bernstein's New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts. Her Broadway career began as composer of Once Upon a Mattress. Ms. Rodgers had been a popular author of fiction for young people ever since her first book,Freaky Friday was released in 1972. As a composer, her additional theatre credits include Hot Spot starring Judy Holliday, The Mad Show, Working, and The Griffin and the Minor Canon. Her television credits includeOnce Upon a Mattress, Three to Make Music (written with her sister Linda and starring Mary Martin), Feathertop, and Marlo Thomas' Free to Be...You and Me. The daughter of composer Richard Rodgers and Dorothy Rodgers, she collaborated with her mother on several projects, including: the 1970 book A Word to the Wives; a nationally syndicated radio program of the same title; and Of Two Minds, a monthly column for McCall's Magazine. She also made several concert appearances with William Hammerstein, son of the celebrated lyricist, in an evening of reminiscences, anecdotes and musical selections celebrating their fathers' collaboration. For many years, Mary Rodgers served as the Rodgers family representative to The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.

John J. Maio (Director), an award-winning actor and director, has been seen either on or behind stage throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 40 years. Recent directing credits include Bullets over Broadway at Tri-Valley Rep, Rumors at Chanticleers, and Elephant Man at Altarena. This is his 5th time directing at The Douglas Morrisson Theatre (Leading Ladies, Moonlight and Magnolias, Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Auntie Mame). John is member of the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association. John was also seen on stage at The Douglas Morrisson Theatre in Play it Again Sam, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, The Nerd, A Few Good Men, Another Part of the Forest, Guys & Dolls, A Flea In Her Ear, A Christmas Carol, and The Odd Couple. www.johnjmaio.com

The Douglas Morrisson Theatre (DMT) is a program and facility of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. First named "The Little Theatre" at its dedication in November of 1978, DMT officially opened its doors in January of 1979 with a production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, The King and I. DMT operated under The Little Theatre name until 2003. In addition to a full season of plays and musicals, DMT produces three annual concerts by the Morrisson Theatre Chorus. In the summer, children ages 7 to 15 participate in one- and two-week theater camps.

DMT is located at 22311 N. Third St. in Hayward, next to the Senior Center and the Japanese Gardens. The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 1:00pm to 5:00pm, and can be reached at (510) 881-6777. Visitwww.dmtonline.org for more information.

Photo Credit: Terry Sullivan

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