Westside Theatre Review of Once Upon a Mattress

Theatre in the Grove has a hit with the retelling of the ‘Princess and the Pea’ in ONCE UPON A MATTRESS! We had a packed house this past weekend and we don’t want you to miss this one. There’s only one weekend left to see this wonderful show! Get your tickets now! 


Thursday, December 7, 2017

TITG Gives A New Look To Its Mattress

By Tina Arth

Dave Switzer (Wizard), Joanna Galvan (Princess Winnifred), and ensemble.  Photo by Ann Pastores Photography.

Dave Switzer (Wizard), Joanna Galvan (Princess Winnifred), and ensemble.
Photo by Ann Pastores Photography.

In place of standard Christmas fare, Theatre in the Grove is offering the decidedly non-traditional Once Upon A Mattress as its 2017 holiday show. To ensure that the mold is completely broken, Director Luis Ventura is presenting a probably unprecedented steampunk version.  Ever since Carol Burnett made her Broadway debut in 1959 in the role of the Princess Winnifred, this musical reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea has been delighting theater audiences – and the current production in Forest Grove fully lives up to the show’s august pedigree.

The play opens with a lightning-fast retelling of the original Princess and the Pea, narrated by a minstrel who, it turns out, was present for the real events on which the story is based (which were, he tells us, not exactly like Andersen’s fairy tale version).  Yes, there is a prince in search of a wife, and yes, he is having trouble finding just the right candidate. As in Andersen’s story, a rather damp woman appears, claims to be a princess, is tested by the skeptical queen, and passes by having a sleepless night on a bed of twenty mattresses and a pea. But the Princess Winnifred is no rain-soaked wanderer – she has been fetched to the castle from the swamps of home by Sir Harry, a knight with a big problem who really needs to marry off the prince before his pregnant girlfriend starts showing. Most important (especially to the suspicious and wildly Oedipal queen) – the princess’ soggy arrival, precipitated by her eagerness to meet her prince, is not due to a sudden downpour.  Unwilling to wait for the drawbridge to lift, Winnifred swam the moat! With a little help from the hen-pecked king, the minstrel, and the jester, the princess has an appropriately restless night, passes the test, and marries Prince Dauntless (who cuts Mama’s apron strings with gleeful finality in the final scene).

There are lots of fun roles in Mattress, but if the casting has been done properly then it is the actress playing Princess Winnifred who steals the show – and Joanna Galvan is a worthy successor to Ms. Burnett and a host of other top-notch comediennes. She is tiny, fearless, feisty, agile, and overwhelmingly cute – it is clear from the beginning that the evil queen is no match for this brash but lovable spitfire. Of course, she doesn’t do it alone; there is a lot of talent on the stage with her. One unforgettable cameo appearance comes from Elise Byrne, whose Princess #12 is a masterpiece of timing, inflection and attitude – sort of the quintessential Valley Girl on steroids. Nathan Wildfire’s kilted jester provides a solid narration, but much more – his height, stage presence, and flawless delivery really anchor the show, plus he just looks the part! Relative newcomer (this is only his second show) Matthew Hampshire gives Prince Dauntless just the right touch of innocence, longing, and energetic enthusiasm, and Lauren Donovan’s Jester is marvelously sinuous as she gyrates around the stage. Gillian Wildfire has the haughty grandeur and manipulative whine needed for Queen Aggravain, but sometimes misses the boat on the Queen’s rapid-fire dialogue.

The combination of James Grimes’ set design, Ward Ramsdell and Anne Kennedy’s lighting design, and Leslie Crandall-Dawes and Kya Eckstrand- White’s costumes create the steampunk look that Director Ventura sought for the show. Although it doesn’t particularly enhance the show’s central themes, this motif provides for a lavish visual feast of a set and some really diverse and intriguing costumes. Mattress is, of course, a musical – and conductor Michelle Bahr makes full use of the fine orchestra to support and augment Steph Landtiser’s always fun, often-complex vocal arrangements.

Once Upon A Mattress is playing at Theatre in the Grove, 2028 Pacific Avenue, Forest Grove through December 17th,with performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.


Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

For a complete listing of show times, please visit theatreinthegrove.org or call 503-359-5349

Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for seniors (60 and over) and youths (17 and under).

The box office is open on Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and one hour before each performance.TicketsBuyNow

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KGW Great Toy Drive

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KGW Great Toy Drive

Theatre in the Grove is once again participating in the KGW Great Toy Drive! Drop off your new, unwrapped toy at the Theatre during our Box Office hours (Wednesdays from 11am-1pm) or when you come see ONCE UPON A MATTRESS! For you generosity, we will give you one FREE Concession for a toy donation. The KGW Great Toy Drive benefits more than 120 nonprofit organizations throughout Oregon and SW Washington. With their help we are able to serve families in need. Please consider donating this holiday season.

wonder parkerpup

Photo Courtesy of ParkerPup

Also, the KGW Great Toy Drive mascot, Wonder (aka Parker Pup) will be making a special appearance during ONCE UPON A MATTRESS and posing for photos Dec 8, 9, and 10th in the Theatre in Grove Lobby. Tag us #theatreinthegrove and #GreatToyDrive in all photos.

For more information please visit:
http://greattoydrive.kgwcreative.com

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Once Upon a Mattress OPENS Dec 1st


Forest Grove, OR (November 16, 2017) – Theatre in the Grove is excited to bring the story of ‘The Princess and The Pea,’ to you in the Broadway Classic, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS. It takes a familiar tale of a royal courtship and comeuppance and spins it into a rollicking musical delight and comedy. Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again.


OUAMThe Book, by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS is loosely based on the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, The Princess and the Pea. A royal family whose matriarch, Queen Aggravain (played by Gillian Wildfire), has ruled that no one in the kingdom may marry before her son, Prince Dauntless (Matthew Hampshire). She keeps the kingdom single by foiling every marital candidate the prince entertains.

However, the noble Sir Harry (Tanner Morton) and Lady Larken (Erin Riha) have a compelling reason that they reach the bridal altar post haste, and they set out to put an end to the queen’s tyranny. Sir Harry finds the perfect candidate for Prince Dauntless’ bride, Princess Winnifred (Joanna Galvan), a slightly unpolished woman from the “wrong side of the swamp.” With the help of Sir Harry, the Minstrel (Nathan Wildfire) and the Jester (Lauren Donovan), Winnifred sets out to outwit Queen Aggravain and win her true love’s heart.

During its original Broadway run, the play made Carol Burnett a household name as Princess Winnifred. Years later, she brought the production full circle with a turn as the Queen.

Theatre in the Grove’s Director, Luis Ventura, has set the story in an alternative take on the 19th century British Victorian era in a post-apocalyptic steampunk world! Carried on a wave of wonderful songs by Mary Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer, it turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. Don’t miss out the opportunity for the whole family to experience this classic show with a new look and fun twist!

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: December 1 – December 17, 2017

Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

For a complete listing of show times, please visit theatreinthegrove.org or call 503-359-5349

Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for seniors (60 and over) and youths (17 and under).

The box office is open on Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and one hour before each performance.

TicketsBuyNow

Complete Cast List:
Princess Winnifred
 – Joanna Galvan
Prince Dauntless – Matthew Hampshire
Queen Aggravain – Gillian Wildfire
King Sextimus – Bud Reece
Lady Larken – Erin Riha
Sir Harry – Tanner Morton
Jester – Lauren Donovan
Minstrel – Nathan Wildfire
Wizard – Dave Switzer
Nightingale of Smarkand – Isabella Steele
Princess No. 12 – Elise Byrne

Ensemble:
Elise Byrne
Kate Barrett
Jeananne Kelsey
Jenae Gregory
Kira Smolev
Isabella Steele
Travis Schlegel
Dominik Davis
Lauren Quinsland
Dominique Thomas
Kathleen Shew
Kieran Thomas
Justice Williams

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Winter C.A.S.T. Camp Dec 18-22

“I’ve always believed the stage to be the perfect ‘play’ ground for the imagination!”
Jeanna Van Dyke.


CAST XMas
October 27, 2017 – The Winter C.A.S.T. Camp dates have been announced, December 18-22, 2017REGISTRATION is available online. All Sessions are $150. Camp sizes are limited. Registration is on a FIRST COME/FIRST SERVED basis. Payment is due at the time of registration.**
For more information please visit our page, Winter CAST Camp

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Haunted Theatre: Pirates in the Grove Oct 26-31

Haunted17Theatre in the Grove proudly presents this Halloween, Pirates in the Grove. This LIVE INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE transforms the theatre into a ghostly pirate ship and will immerse you in the action with the piratical scalawags! Race down the aisle by way of longboat and join the crew of the Twelve Captains as they are in the middle of an attack on a defenseless town. A family-friendly version of the show that will not scare the socks off of you includes a scavenger/treasure hunt for the kids and plenty of photo-ops! Your experience will have you crying out “YAR” and begging to do it again. You’ll be blown away from dazzling effects and the world of Pirates in the Grove!
 

Pirates in the Grove
October 26th – 31st           7:00pm to 10:00pm

Pirates in the Grove — Treasure Hunt (with Live Performances of Musical Theatre II troupe from Forest Grove Dance Arts)

October 28th – 29th           2:00pm to 5:00pm        Family Friendly
October 31th                        4:00pm to 6:00pm        Family Friendly

Tickets Prices:

Pirates in the Grove:                                   
$5.00 per person
$20.00 Student Group Pass (up to 6 students per pass)

Pirates in the Grove — Treasure Hunt:
$5.00 per person
$20.00 Family Pass (Two Adults up to 4 Children)

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Cast announced for GOD OF CARNAGE!

god of carnage (thumbnail)A playground altercation between eleven-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters.

“Thank you so much to everyone who auditioned. I had a great turnout full of talented actors. These were very hard choices with only four roles and so many great people who auditioned. Thank you!” Zachary Centers

Full Cast List:

Alan- Benjamin Phillip
Annette- Tori Lee Scoles
Michael- Brandon Weaver
Veronica- Kate Barret

Show runs:
January 12 – January 28, 2018

Directed by Zachary Centers

Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
For a complete listing of show times, visit
theatreinthegrove.org or call 503-359-5349

Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for seniors (60 and over) and youths (17 and under).

TicketsBuyNow

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