By Kayleigh Rahn
Once Upon a Mattress, there was a princess longing for sleep.
And, of course, there was a prince looking for love.
And a perfectly evil queen hoping to spoil it all
Although the 2019 TCHS Spring Musical “Once Upon a Mattress” had all makings for an old-fashioned fairytale, it was anything but.
In fact, it was, for a lack of a better term, “a nuthouse” in all the best ways as the Spring Musical offered a brilliantly funny experience during an unseasonably cold March weekend.
The comedic take on Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Princess and the Pea” was staged by the high school drama club, and to say it was a crowd pleaser would be stating it lightly. The not-so-well-known story of Prince Dauntless’ (JD Barrett) hunt for a “genuine certified princess” has become a favorite among local drama fans.
In the fictional kingdom, the prince’s search for his princess has been halted at every turn by the perfectly evil Queen Aggravain (Caroline Rominger) who has put 12 princesses up to a test and showed each the door as they failed.
Enter TCHS senior Anna Spillman as Princess Winnifred, Princess #13.
The sarcastic “Fred” is determined to pass the queen’s test so she isn’t forced to return to her home in the swamp. Spillman gave one-of-a-kind life to the role of Fred and backed up the over the top character with beautiful vocals.
As Dauntless and Fred begin to study for the big examine, the true love story unfolds between Lady Larken (Ashton Smith) and Sir Harry (Dustin Hale) who ended up in peculiar predicament when they learned they are expecting but could not wed until Prince Dauntless married his princess. Smith and Hale shared several sweet moments during their duets and scenes while showcasing their vocal talents, which complimented each other well.
As events unfold, the Jester (Paul Nau) shares the story of his father’s time performing at the castle. TCHS senior Nau, who is quite light on his feet, is a special talent with great tone and that was proven during his solo “Very Soft Shoes.”
The full review can be found in the Wednesday, March 13, 2019 edition of The Tuscola Journal.