When Princess Winnifred the Woebegone swims the moat to arrive in the kingdom, the knights and ladies realize that this is not “your grandma’s princess.” Winnifred (aka “Fred”) bemoans this fact later. “I don’t have a fairy godmother,” she says. “I don’t even have a godmother. I have mother. A plain, ordinary woman.” But her quirky charm is what Prince Dauntless the Drab likes most about her! All that stands between them is his overbearing mother, Queen Aggravain, and her insistence that the princess be tested for her sensitivity by seeing if she can sleep on 20 mattresses with a pea hidden at the bottom.

That’s right – it’s the story of the Princess and the Pea! But as you might have guessed, this old fairy tale gets an uproariously quirky treatment in Mary Rogers and Marshall Barer’s musical comedy, Once Upon a Mattress, which opened on Broadway with Carol Burnett. Endicott College Performing Arts Department presents this farcical comedy for all ages on Thursday April 16 - Saturday April 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rose Performance Hall in the Center for the Arts at Endicott College, 376 Hale Street, Beverly. A matinee especially for children and the young at heart will be on Saturday, April 18 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 for General admission, $10 for seniors and students with id, and free for children under 12 and Endicott College ID holders.

Endicott students have been working on the production under professors Penny Hansen of Beverly, MA and Becca Kenneally of Marblehead, MA since February. The show features sets, lights and costumes designed by professionals working with Endicott students, as well as a live orchestra comprised equally of Endicott students and professional musicians. The students have caught the magic of this fairy tale and are eager to share it with audiences.

“You can really feel it all coming together,” said Amy Kirsch, a junior from Weymouth, MA who plays the Queen’s beleaguered side-kick. “It is one of the best performance experiences I have ever had.”

“It’s a really tight-knit cast, and that shows in the comedy,” said Kelly Brewer, a senior who plays Princess Winnifred. “It’s so full of physical gags and quick puns. You have to feel the timing together.”

The comedy also comes from the plot complication. Not only does the Queen wish to keep the Prince all to herself (ew!), she has decreed that, no one else in the kingdom may marry until Prince Dauntless does. This troubles Lady Larken and Sir Harry who are facing a surprise pregnancy! Will Winnifred pass the test? Will she and Dauntless marry? Come see Once Upon a Mattress and find out. You’ll be laughing and tapping your toes to tunes such as “In a Little While,” “Shy,” “Yesterday I Loved You,” and many more!

The talented cast members come from near and far. The locals include Endicott alumna and Assistant-Director Katie Clarke of Beverly, MA; Alicia Tinkham, a sophomore playing Lady Lucille of Danvers, MA; Kayleigh Barucci, a freshman playing Lady Merrill of Burlington, MA; violinist and senior Jimmy Swanbeck is from North Chelmsford, MA; flautist and freshman Gabriella Casa is from Wakefield, MA; and Professor Joel Caron who plays Sir Luce hails from Salem, MA. Two children in the show hail from Marblehead: Ila Bumagin and Aidan Eager, both 8 years old. The actor with the farthest hometown is Endicott College graduate student Wooram Lyu, playing the role of Sir Ram- from South Korea!

Performances are Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 7:30 PM, Friday, April 17 at 7:30 PM, or Saturday, April 18 at 2:00 PM or 7:30 PM in the Rose Performance Hall at the Center of the Visual and Performing Arts at Endicott College, 376 Hale St., Beverly, MA. Tickets are $15 for General Admission, $10 for seniors and students with id, and free for children under 12 and Endicott College ID holders, and can be reserved at  or by leaving a message at the box office at (978) 998-7700.www.endicott.edu/

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For more information about the performance, please contact Becca Kenneally, Performing Arts Chair, at .www.endicott.edu/

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; or you can visit the Endicott College Center for the Arts webpage at (978) 232-2397 or rkenneal@endicott.edu

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