Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘Once Upon a Mattress’ is a dream come true

By
From page B3 | December 27, 2013 | Leave Comment

Missouri Street Theatre’s current production of “Once Upon a Mattress” was a refreshing show to see during the holiday season specifically because it was not about Christmas.

I am certainly not knocking other companies who have put on more traditional shows (in fact I praised them in recent reviews), but the very fact that Missouri Street Theatre’s offering is not Christmasy made it even better.

Of course, that the show was  well-directed, had a killer cast and was performed with precision and was flat-out hilarious may have had something to do with how much I and the audience on opening night loved it as well.

I have seen numerous local shows where the onstage movement was meticulously crafted by local choreographer Staci Arriaga, but, if I am not mistaken, this is the first show I have seen where she was in the director’s chair. I hope to see many more shows that Arriaga directs because the attention to detail that brought her success and respect with dance moves permeated every part of the current show.

“Once Upon a Mattress” is a musical comedy adaptation of “The Princess and the Pea” fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. The show had its Broadway debut in 1959 featuring later TV comedienne Carol Burnett as the princess. It also has been adapted into television specials in 1964, 1972 and in 2005.

The cast was to die for. Dae Spering was enchanting as Princess Winnifred and played the quirky lovable character with exuberance, verve and unbridled hilarity. I think the true mark of when someone just kills a role is when, like Spering, I know them and have seen them in numerous productions and yet when they are in costume and under the lights, I don’t think of them as the person I know offstage at all.

The only thing I saw was a princess nicknamed Fred who came from a swamp, swam in a moat and who delivered stunning vocals on songs such as “Shy,” like nobody’s business.

Kate Richardson absolutely crushed it as Queen Aggravain. She was appropriately snobbish, grating, and overbearing and her inflection, tone and comic timing were impeccable. Her reign as the Queen mother over her precious son Prince Dauntless was perfect throughout.

John Ewing was great as Dauntless and his role was tricky as he mainly reacted to others in the cast but he held his own and shined.

I have become a big fan of Danielle DeBow (Lady Larken) after experiencing her work in a number of shows this year. I like when you expect a certain level of quality and professionalism and it is delivered time and again.

The same goes for Tevye Ditter who played Sir Harry, Lady Larken’s lover. Ditter’s commanding stage presence is enhanced by his wondrous vocals and the interplay and sweet harmonies he shared with DeBow on songs like “In a Little While” were to die for.

Three actors who often shared the stage together to hilarious effect were the Minstrel (Aris Roberson), the Jester (Ethan Bell), and King Sextimus (Derrick Karimian). Roberson narrated the tale with panache. Bell’s singsongy way of delivering his lines was a scream. Karimian’s character was unable to speak and had to pantomime to communicate. I was a fan of his work with local improv group The Rats in the Alley so he was a n0-brianer.   

My favorite number in the show was “Song of Love” where the ensemble sings as Princess Fred performs a series of actions that build and build and it ends the first act on a wonderfully high note.

All the elements of the show, lighting, sets, props,and exquisite costumes came together  with a talented and well-rehearsed cast to make this fairy tale a dream come true.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at tonybethkaci@gmail.com

“Once Upon a Mattress”

8 p.m. Dec. 27-28

6 p.m. Dec 29

2 p.m. Dec. 28

Fairfield Center for Creative Arts, 1035 Texas St.

www.downtowntheatre.com

three and a half stars out of four

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
 
 
 
Suisun police ID shooting victim

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 6 Comments

 
Solano Jews gather for start of Passover

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
County discusses consolidated dispatch

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Miner Slough Bridge to see repairs

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
‘Heaven is for Real’ opens Wednesday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B5

 
Fiesta Days pageant organizers seek contestants

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Easter hunt set for Mare Island

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

Coakley joins Solano fair board

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Crews make quick work of vehicle fire

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Paper Clover Campaign supports Solano County 4-H

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Hundreds flock to Krispy Kreme as it opens doors

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B9, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
County to honor Solano educators

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

.

US / World

Officials: Huge San Francisco blaze was accidental

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Shrimp Boy’ pleads not guilty in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Robot sub returns to water after 1st try cut short

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine: Military secures airport from attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Democrats have outside money advantage – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 3 Comments

First women move into Army platoon artillery jobs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Final deadline arrives for health exchange sign-up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

New LA newspaper embraces print in digital world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Congress is giving states the transportation blues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

Police: Suspects in killings wore GPS devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Hamas praises deadly West Bank shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
2 dead after ferry sinks off SKorean coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

.

Opinion

 
Oh, for the days of Dr. Welby

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page: A13, 13 Comments

Poor Judgement in Flight 370 column

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
Senseless babble that hurts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

 
Expand Red Top Road

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

Editorial cartoons for April 16, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
What love gives you

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

Today in History for April 16, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
A matzo ball soup fit for a weeknight dinner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
Sweet pairings for grown-up Easter treats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

My husband still pays his 45-year-old unemployed son’s bills

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 16, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Boston Globe wins Pulitzer for bombing coverage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Lindsay Lohan’s mom pleads guilty to DWI in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Strahan’s ‘GMA’ side job confirmed with his visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Cal hires Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin as coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to move on without Andrew Bogut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks’ Torres uncertain for playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Indians shut out Mustangs

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Ex-Minnesota State, Mankato coach returning to job

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Panthers jump Sabres to win NHL draft lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

More former players sue NHL regarding concussions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers sign WR Brandon Lloyd to 1-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB marks 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Twitter buys data analytics partner Gnip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Yellen signals more aggressive stance toward banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Carolyn McClelland

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Evonne Medina

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7