Once Upon a Mattress

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
Book: Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer and Dean Fuller
Music: Mary Rodgers
Lyrics: Marshall Barer
Director: Gerald Gutierrez
Choreographer: Liza Gennaro
Sets: John Lee Beatty
Costumes: Jane Greenwood
Lighting: Pat Collins
Sound: Tom Morse
Musical Direction and Vocal Arrangements: Eric Stern
Orchestrations: Bruce Coughlin
Dance Arrangements: Tom Fay
Music Coordinator: John Miller
Wig and Hair Design: Paul Huntley
Opened: 12/96 at the Broadhurst Theater
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Heath Lamberts, Jane Krakowski, Mary Lou Rosato, Lewis Cleale, Lawrence Clayton, Tom Alan Robbins, David Hibbard and David Aaron Baker

Once Upon a Mattress
Joan Marcus
This once-upon-a-time farce follows poor Prince Dauntless (Baker), who's still a bachelor thanks to his overbearing mother, a shrew who insists that each of his potential brides-to-be pass an impossible gauntlet of tests (12 candidates have already failed). Parker is the intrepid and adorable Winifred who sleeps on a fantastic 20-layer bed as her climactic challenge in the pre-nuptial tryouts. The versatile actress lends her considerable musical talents to several peppy blues- and scat-inspired numbers, though her voice sometimes sounds more whiney than winsome. While the musical's Freudian overtones are slyly amusing, director Guttierez represses the vaudeville potential of the work, settling on a woefully repetitive score and flat choreography. Try as she might, Parker can't carry the show with her trademark pluck. For that kind of wish, Once Upon a Mattress just may require a fairy godmother.
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