Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Stage

Springstead stage veterans star in 'Once Upon a Mattress'

RECOMMENDED READING


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 [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Comments
It’s a Doo Wop holiday at the Show Palace

It’s a Doo Wop holiday at the Show Palace

HUDSON — Music brings the Rudolph family together in A Doo Wop Christmas, which opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 25 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.This new production, directed by Peter Clapsis (The Great American Trailer Park Musical) with m...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/18/17
What’s on stage this week: Benji Brown, ‘No Man’s Land’ on screen, Florida Orchestra does Bruch

What’s on stage this week: Benji Brown, ‘No Man’s Land’ on screen, Florida Orchestra does Bruch

KIKI OR BUST: BENJI BROWNWherever Benji Brown goes, Kiki follows. The comic, known for his work on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, created the fast-talking female character on the fly when he called a girl’s house in high school and her boyfriend pic...
Published: 11/15/17
American Stage’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is just what the love doctor ordered

American Stage’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is just what the love doctor ordered

ST. PETERSBURG — A centuries-old template for the rom-com as we know it and one of Shakespeare’s most produced comedies, Much Ado About Nothing comes to us at a time when we can really use some love conquering all. Just what the love doctor ordered, ...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Review: With a fine script, Stage West cast puts on a great show in ‘Baggage’

Review: With a fine script, Stage West cast puts on a great show in ‘Baggage’

Okay, I’ll admit I went into the Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill on opening night of the comedy Baggage expecting another June/moon/spoon romance-comedy. And sure enough, that’s just the way it started.A man and a woman grab ea...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/16/17
From stickup to stand-up, bank robber's second act is comedy

From stickup to stand-up, bank robber's second act is comedy

TAMPA — He had dreamed about returning to comedy in odd moments, between meetings with the lawyer, the lonely trip to the correctional institute, picking up trash on state roads while a guard stood by with a rifle. This nightmare would make him...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/12/17
Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

The Red Rocker calls on time, and he is all kinds of fired up."Hey, Jay, Sammy Hagar here. Are you ready for me?"Is anyone ever truly ready for a phone call from Hagar, the flame-haired, motor-mouthed ex-Van Halen singer who once dubbed himself the C...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/12/17
What’s on stage this week: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Key West, Travis Wall Shaping Sound

What’s on stage this week: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Key West, Travis Wall Shaping Sound

AMERICAN STAGE: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHINGTwo couples nearly come apart at the seams for different reasons, the premise for Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, opening at American Stage. This version is set in Key West in the 1940s, the end of World Wa...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Review: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ at Stageworks

Review: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ at Stageworks

At the beginning of The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion acknowledges that the audience might not want to hear her story because we don’t think it could happen to us."It will happen to you," Didion says with a rueful smile, and of course she’s r...
Published: 11/06/17
Updated: 11/07/17
What's on stage this week: 'The Year of Magical Thinking,' Florida Orchestra milestone concert, John Cleese

What's on stage this week: 'The Year of Magical Thinking,' Florida Orchestra milestone concert, John Cleese

STAGEWORKS: MINING GRIEF FOR HEALING The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion’s no-frills memoir of loss and recovery, opens at Stageworks Theatre this weekend. The essayist and screenwriter adapted the one-woman stage play herself. Didion w...
Published: 11/01/17
Updated: 11/08/17
Romantic comedy ‘Baggage’ opens Nov. 9 at Stage West

Romantic comedy ‘Baggage’ opens Nov. 9 at Stage West

The romantic comedy Baggage opens at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. Shows will continue at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 19. Phyllis Novack and Bradley Naught...
Updated one month ago