Make us your home page

Springstead stage veterans star in 'Once Upon a Mattress'

SPRING HILL — It's no small wonder why Once Upon a Mattress has become such a hit with high school drama students.

The characters are lovably quirky, the dialogue is filled with acid-like sarcasm and the musical numbers soar with such lighthearted fun that it's hard to resist smiling while you're singing them.

At least that's what Springstead High senior Megan Berube thinks. She has played in no fewer than a half-dozen ensemble cast productions since her freshman year, including Peter Pan; Seussical, the Musical and Anything Goes. Mattress, she says, is perhaps the most enjoyable stage experience she has ever had.

"It's hilarious and sassy and a little bit crazy from time to time," said Berube, 18, who plays the role of the Court Jester. "Everybody had so much fun with it."

The show, which opens Thursday at Springstead Theatre, features many of this year's graduating thespians in starring roles, including Meghan Moholland, who plays Queen Aggravain, and Lucas Altuz, who portrays Prince Dauntless, said Springstead drama and choral director Mark Pennington.

"A lot of the cast members are veterans of other big shows we've done, and that has allowed us to progress at a faster pace than usual," Pennington said. "That's a big help when you have a large cast and not much time to prepare for a show."

As has become typical with most of the school's major theater productions, Pennington spent about $1,800 to rent authentic costumes for the 30-member cast. Brittany Burdette, who plays Princess Winnifred, believes it was well worth the added expense.

"Being able to wear nice costumes makes your performance seem more professional," Burdette said. "When the audience sees you on stage, they are more likely to believe the story that you're trying to convey to them."

Based on the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, the famed musical, written by Mary Rogers and Marshall Barer, holds broad audience appeal and is a popular production among community theater groups.

The story revolves around Princess Winnifred, who travels from her medieval kingdom in the faraway swamps to vie for the hand of the Prince Dauntless the Drab. Her worthiness of the throne is nearly derailed, however, by the prince's overly possessive and slightly incestuous mother, Queen Agravain, who tries to thwart their union by devising tests that are nearly impossible to pass.

Berube said that she and her fellow cast members delight in exploring the show's well-timed humor.

"The dialogue is very fast-paced at times, so you really have to focus on how you deliver your lines," she said. "We've worked hard at getting it as smooth as we can. Hopefully, the audience will enjoy watching it as much as we've enjoyed making it come together."

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

. If you go

Once Upon a Mattress

What: Springstead High School's production

Where: Springstead Theatre, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. April 5 and 6. There will be a 2 p.m. matinee performance on April 7.

Admission: Tickets cost $12 for adults and $6 for students and may be purchased at the door.

Information: Call (352) 476-9086

Springstead stage veterans star in 'Once Upon a Mattress' 03/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador


    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25


    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24


    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  4. Bar review: Les Partners Lounge goes old-school in Clearwater

    Bars & Spirits

    There are some local places that I'm shocked aren't more well known, and I think that's the result of a general aversion to stepping out of one's comfort zone. I make regular concerted efforts to step outside of mine, which often leads me to strange and rewarding drinking establishments.

    Les Partners Lounge is an old-school, smoker-friendly cocktail lounge and live music venue tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza in Island Estates.
  5. Local craft beer of the week: Plongeur a L'eponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.

    Bars & Spirits

    Tarpon Springs' Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. has a somewhat idiosyncratic approach to wild ale brewing, utilizing an open brewing approach involving uncovered fermenters in order to brew beer with local ambient microbes, reminiscent in some ways to the fermentation techniques used by rustic farmhouse breweries in Belgium …

     Plongeur a?€š€™L?ˆš??ponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, 6/23/17  Electric Chair Sour Shandy, Angry Chair Brewing, 6/30/17   Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA, Motorworks Brewing 7/7/17