An explosion of theatrical and comedic energy set


    Ephesus Teatron Group, Inc. is all set to transport the audience to a magical world of musical theater as it proudly kicks off its first production for 2017 with Once Upon A Mattress.

    Based on the book of the same title by Jay Thompson, Once Upon a Mattress centers on King Sextimus, who due to an unhappy curse is unable to speak. While battling this curse, his terror-of-a-wife, Queen Aggravain, has taken over control of the kingdom. Most importantly, in an attempt to keep Prince Dauntless single, she has decreed that only the princess that can pass her test may marry her son. Further, no one else in the kingdom may marry until Prince Dauntless does. Lady Larken and Sir Harry are extremely disturbed by this fact since Lady Larken is now pregnant with Sir Harry’s baby. Luckily, Sir Harry is able to find an amazing princess, Winnifred the Woebegone. She instantly catches the attention of Prince Dauntless, and in the end, is able to pass the Queen’s supposedly impassable sensitivity test.

    once20170108When the Queen still tries to prevent the Prince Dauntless from marrying, he tells her to ‘shut up’ which ends up breaking the curse on the king. Now able to speak, King Sextimus regains his rightful position as leader of the kingdom, and all is well.

    The original 1959 Broadway production featured the debut of stage and TV personality Carol Burnett, and received two Tony Award nominations for Best Musical and Best Leading Actress. A 1960 London production was produced together with an original cast album recording. In 1996, Sarah Jessica Parker stepped into the leading role in a Broadway revival production together with Jane Krakowski. The edition was nominated for the 1997 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. An Off-Broadway production had a limited run last January 2016. Adaptations for television were aired in the US in 1964, 1972, and lastly in 2005.

    Once Upon a Mattress is a silly, sassy, and a funny modern fairy tale musical with many amusing momentsbursting at the seams featuring an assemblage of first-rate pros loaded with showbiz pizzazz and comic artistry from the Philippine theater industry.

    Carla Guevara-Laforteza and Cara Barredo (right) alternating as Princess Winnifred

    Carla Guevara-Laforteza and Cara Barredo (right) alternating as Princess Winnifred

    Carla Guevara-Laforteza and Cara Barredo shall alternately play the role of Princess Winnifred the Woebegone.
    She is a feisty, outspoken, independent, strong, optimistic, and free-thinking princess from the swamp lands. She isn’t too good with manners. She wants to get married, but must go through the queen’s unfair test as well. The Prince, naturally, falls madly in love with her.

    Nino Alejandro as Prince Dauntless

    Nino Alejandro as Prince Dauntless

    Niño Alejandro will play the role of Prince Dauntless. A nice, not too smart, everyday type of young Prince who desperately wants to get married, but is prevented by his mother’s strict tests that she gives to all potential candidates.

    Hans Eckstein and Chino Veguillas shall alternately play the role of Sir Harry. He is the Queen’s Champion-in-Arms—the Lancelot of Knights—the macho, slightly egotistical, brave, romantic knight who decides to leave the kingdom to search for a princess, and finds Princess Winnifred in the swamp. Easily jealous, but loves Lady Larken with all his heart. Harry cannot marry Lady Larken until Prince Dauntless has found a suitable bride.

    Milay Guinid will essay the role of Queen Aggravain. The loud, talkative woman who really rules the country. She is an overprotective, stubborn, sly Mom who is trying to keep her son, Prince Dauntless, from getting married.

    Hans Eckstein as Sir Harry

    Hans Eckstein as Sir Harry

    Raymund Concepcion will play the role of King Sextimus. A kind, expressive, playful, and comedic character who is silent due to a curse placed upon him by a witch before the birth of Dauntless. He likes to chase girls through the corridors of the castle. Needs good improv skills.

    Completing the cast are Arion Sanchez and Chino Veguillas who will alternately play the role of Minstrel; Steven Hotchkiss as the Jester; Onyl Torres and Alex Dagalea, alternating as the Wizard; Yanah Laurel and Jill Ita-as Lady Larken; and Sweet Samaniego-Buchanan as Princess No. 12.

    Once Upon a Mattress will be staged at the Tanghalang Yaman Lahi Theater, Emilio Aguinaldo College located at 1221 Gen. Luna St. Ermita, Manila from January 20 to 22 at 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm. For tickets and inquiries, call Ticketworld at 8919999.


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