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Logan High theater students ready for comic fairytale ‘Mattress’

November 12th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

By Kristi Lambert

LOGAN—A mute king, a submissive prince, a crafty queen, a moat-swimming princess, 20 downy mattresses and one pesky little pea have taken over the Logan High School Theatre Department.

LHS will be performing the musical “Once Upon a Mattress” Nov. 18, 19, 21 and 22.

The musical, written in the 1950s by Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer, Dean Fuller and Mary Rodgers, puts a comedic twist to the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.” In the play, Queen Aggravian has taken over the kingdom after King Sextimus was cursed with muteness. Aggravian has vowed to keep Prince Dauntless the Drab single so that she may keep the throne for herself. But after Princess Winnifred the Woebegone catches the prince’s eye, the queen’s plans begin to unravel.

A cast of 50 students, 60 orchestra members and 10 stagehands will bring the production to the LHS stage.

“It’s funny, great music and great characters,” said theater department director Mitzi Mecham. ”People will go away smiling. Definitely family entertainment.”

This will be Mecham’s 24th musical at LHS. She has been working with the cast since auditions. Students tried out in February to get into her class, and then again in August for the fall musical. With opening night approaching, the cast practices during school and at night in about 4 hours a day of rehearsals.

Mecham said that the show is right on track for opening night. “It always comes together,” she says.

Sophomore Austin Burgess plays the part of Sir Harry. “There are still things that we need to work on, but we will be ready when time comes around,” he said. “We have an amazing cast, really talented. A great director and a well-rounded crew. It’s going to be great.”

Sarah Gee, a senior who plays Lady Larken, said that the cast meshes well together.

“We all step it up where we need to,” Gee said. “Not just the leads, but everyone does. That way it all looks good for opening night.”

When it comes to vocals, choral director Randy Smith is proud of his students and confident in their abilities.

“The kids are doing extremely well. We really have some talented kids this year,” Smith said as a trio sang “The Minstrel, the Jester and I.”

Many in the cast have had previous experience on stage outside of high school productions, including senior Josh Higham, who plays the part of the Jester. Higham has enjoyed community theater, so he decided to audition for the high school play his last year.

“I loved it,” Higham said. “The dominoes sort of fell and I found myself on stage.”

“They’ve made a lot of progress,” stage manager Mardi Hyer said. “Now that they have their parts they take on their characters and embrace it and perfect it.”

Tickets for the musical went on sale Friday. Prices range from $5 to $7 and can be purchased at the door or online at the LHS website. All performances start at 7:30 p.m. in the Logan High School auditorium.

Kristi Lambert covers Logan High School on her blog.


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