The Transport Group Theatre Company is recruiting some theater royalty for their one-night-only concert presentation of the comical fairytale Once Upon a Mattress. Tony nominee Danny Burstein (Follies), David Rossmer (The Other Josh Cohen) and more will join headliners Jackie Hoffman and John “Lypsinka” Epperson for this Princess and the Pea parody. Directed by Jack Cummings III, Once Upon a Mattress will play the Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center on June 17. Also on tap for the evening is a post-show talkback with the musical’s composer Mary Rodgers.
Burstein and Rossmer will round out the royal family as King Sextimus and Prince Dauntless, respectively. The cast will also feature Tony nominee Jeffrey Kuhn (The 39 Steps) as the Jester, Obie winner Jonathan Hammond (Boys in the Band) as the Wizard, Jill Paice (Curtains) as Lady Larken, Lewis Cleale (The Book of Mormon) as Sir Harry and Stanley Bahorek (Queen of the Mist) as The Minstrel.
In the fairy-tale world of Once Upon A Mattress, King Sextimus (Burstein) is unable to speak and his terror of a wife, Queen Aggravian (Lypsinka), has taken over control of the kingdom. Most importantly, in an attempt to keep Prince Dauntless (Rossmer) 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 (Paice) and Sir Harry (Cleale) 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 and unusual princess, Winnifred the Woebegone (Hoffman). Now all she has to do is pass the Queen’s impassable sensitivity test.
The evening will feature a 10-person orchestra conducted by Matt Castle (Company) as well as a 14-person ensemble featuring Jessica Hershberg, Lisa Asher, Zach Bencal, Clinton Clark, Vivienne Cleary, Michael De Souza, Tom Dolen, Frank Galgano, Danette Holden, Kristen Michelle, Gayla Morgan, Kurt Robbins, Doug Shapiro, and Maureen Taylor.