Once upon a preview


Yucheng Zhang, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Norbert Espinell – The entire cast stands as the Queen, senior Taylor Snoddy makes an announcement. The show, Once Upon a Mattress, will premier in the auditorium this week. 

Grab your pillows, tuck yourself in, and get ready for a bedtime story you’ve never seen before. For many, the much awaited Advanced Performing Arts (APA) musical is just around the corner.

Under the direction of APA teacher Kaily Anderson, students in the APA class will be performing in Rangeview’s third production and first musical of the year: Once Upon a Mattress – a musical comedy written in 1959 by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer.

Although Mrs. Anderson has directed a number of shows before this one, Once Upon a Mattress will go down as the first ever musical that she has taken under her wing. Being more comfortable with drama theater, many people hope that all of Anderson’s hard work and dedication will be reflected in the success of the show.

Pictured left to right, Seniors Caitlin Frazier, Yarely Gonzalez, and Tristan Sommers stand on stage as they perform their song. (Norbert Espinell)

As this is her first musical, Mrs. Anderson had many helping hands in producing this show.

“It has been more student-led than any other show I have done here,” says Anderson. “A lot of the blocking was done by students; the choreography was all done by students; the set design was done by the tech class; we have a first time lighting designer – so all the elements of this are really student-led rather than adult-led and that makes me very excited.”

Drawing inspiration as an adaptation from Hans Christian Anderson’s The Princess and the Pea, Once Upon a Mattress follows the story of main protagonists, Prince Dauntless the Drab and Princess Winnifred the Woebegone in a comedic and quirky story about love, innocence, parenting, scandal, and individuality.

Taking place in a fictional medieval kingdom ruled by Queen Aggravain and King Sextimus the Silent, an oppressive marriage and curse have left Sextimus mute and Aggravain in a position of tyrannical rule. Under her decree, no couple in the kingdom may wed or bear a child until her son, Dauntless is married. However, the Queen uses her manipulative powers to create unfair tests, ensuring that no princess will have her son’s hand in marriage.

The seemingly endless cycle of hopeful princesses turned away by the Queen’s unfair antics is brought to an end when Prince Harry introduces Princess Winnifred from a neighboring kingdom – a bizarre and one-of-a-kind princess who wins the hearts of Dauntless and (almost) the entire kingdom.

In its entirety, the play follows Princess Winnifred as she faces the Queen’s manipulative regulations in her trials of love for Dauntless’ hand with whimsical dances and charming songs all along the way.

Promotional poster created by sophomore Emma Rae Wolfe. Showtimes and prices can be found on the poster.

“It’s pretty good you know, good cast, good script. It’s a little dated – I think you’ll see that – but it is entertaining for sure,” says senior Jakob Lutz. “If you like girls with questionable body parts or celibate 35-year-olds, this is the show for you. I am the celibate 35-year-old which is entertaining because it’s true.”

Jakob plays one of the male lead roles portraying Prince Dauntless. With 12 shows already under his belt and 6 of those being musicals, Jakob has high hopes for the show and claims to be having a lot of fun portraying a character like Dauntless.

Another lead actress is senior Jordan Clanton, who is playing the role of Princess Winnifred. I am excited for Once Upon a Mattress because this role that I’m playing is very special and very funny and extremely witty,” says Clanton. “It’s an honor to play such a crazy person.” She adds, “I love working with this cast because I’m friends with a lot of them and we are very close and I think that shows on stage.”

This is Clanton’s 8th musical and 11th show in total. She has worked under the direction of Mrs. Anderson before, acting in both Much Ado About Nothing and Our Lawyers Made Us Change the Name So We Wouldn’t Get Sued. She also did tech work for two of Anderson’s other shows. “Mrs. Anderson is an awesome director, she just makes it seem so easy and she always considers our opinions of our characters and how we think we should act and shes a very very good director,” says Clanton.

Mr. Laguana (LG) is also playing a major role in this show, acting as the music conductor and coordinator. Interestingly, Once Upon a Mattress was the first musical LG ever did when he began teaching. “Doing the show 17 years later is exciting,” says Laguana. “I’m excited to work with Mrs. Anderson in her first musical. I’m excited to see what the cast is capable of.”

You can experience this play and all its quirky song lyrics, delightful dances, and wacky scenes at 7 pm on Thursday, February 21st, Friday the 22nd, and Saturday the 23rd.

The ticket prices are as follows:

  • $6 for students with activity card
  • $7 for students without an activity card
  • $8 for adults.


Don’t forget to check out this video by Roman Edwards.