Once Upon a Mattress
Carol Burnett (Actor), Tracey Ullman (Actor), Kathleen Marshall (Director)
Broadway Musicals DVD
BM01 Broadway Musicals DVD - Carol Burnett (Actor), Tracey Ullman (Actor), Kathleen Marshall (Director) - Once Upon a Mattress - Broadway Musicals DVD - The playful 2004 television version of Once Upon a Mattress brings everything full circle for Carol Burnett, who played klutzy Princess Winnifred, would-be fiancee of royal mama's boy Prince Dauntless, in the original 1959 Broadway cast production of the musical (as well as 1964 and 1972 television adaptations). In the new show, Burnett now essays the role of Dauntless's control-freak mom, Queen Aggravain, and is very funny in the part. An Oedipal nightmare, Aggravain is in no hurry to let the prince act his adult age, chasing off prospective wives (and queens-in-training) by putting them through unbeatable tests. Along comes Winnifred (Tracey Ullman, who manages the physically demanding role quite nicely), who turns the kingdom on its head with her goofy charm, sets Dauntless's heart aflame, and poses a serious threat to Aggravain's plans. The fun supporting cast in this tuneful take on The Princess and the Pea includes Tom Smothers as King Sextimus, the mute monarch who manages to impart wisdom, Zooey Deschanel as pregnant Lady Larken, who helps bring Winnifred to the castle, and Denis O'Hare (21 Grams) as the boyish Dauntless. Based on the acclaimed Broadway musical, an all-star cast brings a beloved fairy tale to life in Disney Presents ONCE UPON A MATTRESS. Queen Aggravain (Carol Burnett) sabotages the efforts of every young princess who hopes to marry her son, Prince Dauntless (Denis O'Hare) -- and no one else can settle down until he does. Honorable Sir Harry is determined to marry the lovely Lady Larken (Zooey Deschanel), so he sets off for faraway lands and returns with an unlikely candidate: Princess Winnifred from the swamps (Tracey Ullman). It's love at first sight for the Prince, so the Queen sets about planning her most difficult challenge yet. The palace is filled with merriment and mischief while everyone wonders, will Princess Fred pass the Queen's test? This new version of Once Upon a Mattress is delightful in many ways, and somewhat disappointing in others. For those well-acquainted with the original stage version, you may find yourself missing some wonderful Rodgers-Barer songs (such as An Opening for a Princess and Yesterday I Loved You). However, given the time constraints of commercial network television (where this version was originally presented), one can understand some of the decisions. OK, so I'm sure Carol Burnett was fab in the original show, but for my two kids and I who had never seen this before, we really loved it. It was so nice to see some real dancing on a TV movie, the colors were great, Carol's costumes were wild, and Tracy and Dennis were a hoot as the two lovers. Who cares that they were older? Dennis was great as a big momma's boy coming out of his shell and Tracy was terrific throughout. Smothers was sweet and sly, and overall it was a lot of fun. I've been introducing my kids to movie musicals lately (Danny Kaye, Gene Kelly, etc. etc.) and this was a whole lot of fun.
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