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G-K’s ‘Once Upon A Mattress’ opens Friday

The Genoa-Kingston High School Drama Department will present its spring musical, the fairy tale romp “Once Upon a Mattress,” beginning Friday in the high school auditorium.

Curtain time is 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

“This is really a classic musical created by Mary Rogers, daughter of Broadway giant Richard Rogers,” G-K Drama director Jon Fromi said in a news release. “It’s a favorite of high schools across the nation and there’s a good reason for that. It’s a fun show to do and a fun show to sit and watch.”

This re-telling of “The Princess and The Pea” centers on the comedic exploits of a far-off kingdom ruled by a talkative Queen (Samantha Fisher) and a mute King (Cal Thompson). Their son (Matt Chandler) is of the age to take a bride and the law throughout the kingdom is that no one may wed until this happens.

Unfortunately for the subjects of the kingdom, the Queen is rather against her baby boy getting married and conspires with the Court Wizard (Paul Stensrud) to prevent a suitable bride from being found. Desperate to fill the “Opening For A Princess,” Sir Harry (Noah Engles) goes on an exhausted search and returns with a rather unconventional candidate – Princess Winnifred the Woebegone (Rebecca Whittenhall).

Winnifred arrives at the castle via the moat, which she swims to apply for the opening, though she is really quite “shy.” From there the plot takes a series of twists and turns that concludes with a test of Winnifred’s sensitivity. That would be a single pea placed under 20 mattresses.

The story is moved along by a Minstrel (Daphne Vassmer), who teams up with the Court Jester (Donny Gorrell) and the King to try and help Winnifred pass this difficult test. They also come to the aid of Lady Larkin (Galen Hughes), Winnifred’s lady-in-waiting, who wishes to marry Sir Harry “in a little while.”

Musical highlights include “Sensitivity,” “Normandy,” “The Swamps Of Home,” and “Happily Ever After.”

“This is a show that all ages can enjoy,” Fromi said in the release. “We produced ‘Once Upon A Mattress’ 10 years ago just before we moved into the new high school. I’ve always wanted to do the show over here and the kids were really excited about putting it on.”

Alumni of the 2003 production are being invited for a reception on Saturday afternoon.

“We enjoy recognizing shows that the school has performed in past years,” Fromi said in the release. “It doesn’t happen every year but it is fun to look back at those musicals.”

Tickets for “Once Upon A Mattress” will be available at the door and also can be reserved by calling the high school box office at 815-784-5111, ext. 1301, and leaving a message.

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