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By Kathy Carpenter

Associate Reviewer www,


March 24, 2017 (Spring Valley) - Who doesn't love a good fairy tale? My heart filled with joy at the sight of the full audience at the Monarch Theatre. Once Upon a Mattress was everything a magical tale should be: fun, funny, and fabulous.

Kudos to director Julie Benitez for saving the show after major technical difficulties on opening night. A true hero.

Once Upon a Mattress is the story of The Princess and the Pea told through the eyes of a passing minstrel. Prince Dauntless wants to marry. His mother does not want him to, so she devises impossible tests each princess must pass. The kingdom is fed up. None of them can marry until the Prince marries. Finally, they stand behind a princess Dauntless seems to really care about.and help her beat the Queen’s scheme..

Jamie Boyd, who played Princess Winnifred, was a true star--a real talent. Jake Strohl did a great pouty Prince Dauntless. Jorge Partida did an amazing job as the mute King; it’s a tough role not being able to speak, yet he got everything across. Zaina Price played the jester, the King's interpreter. Queen Aggravin, played by Olivia Tavernelli, definitely knew how to do meanness. The Minstrel played by Brandon Kincaid enraptured us into the story. Elexcia Maldonado played a strong Lady Lardy, but Najee Gordon as Sir Harry won over our hearts. Great job Monarchs, for capturing the magic.

My favorite numbers: I always love when Priness Winnifred swims the moat to the castle and first appears. She and the company sing "Shy," a wonderful number. My other favorite for this show is "The Minstrel, The Jester, And I," sung by the Minsttrel, Jester, and King, Favorite costume:  Lady Larkins, with golden pieces attached to the arms for a real fairy tale look. I loved the colorful, fanciful, stage set, enhancing the castle atmosphere.

Monarch Theatre prides themselves on doing high-quality production, that not only entertains but gives the actors and technicians real world skills that can be applied outside the theatre..

If you come you won't be sorry.

Once Upon a Mattress continues at Monte Vista High School at 7 p.m. on March 23, 24 and 25.

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