TribLive: “Once Upon a Mattress” comes to ARP

Young thespians present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ at Aspinwall Riverfront Park

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 9:24 a.m.

Stage Right will present its young artists summer theater production at Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

Stage Right will present its young artists summer theater production at Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

In a raucous twist on the classic fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea,” young local thespians will hit the stage at Aspinwall Riverfront Park to present the medieval musical comedy “Once Upon a Mattress.”

The young artists summer theater production by O’Hara-based Stage Right Performing Arts and Education will feature aspiring high school-aged actors and pit musicians.

Produced by local resident Jim Froehlich, the show will run two weekends, at 8 p.m. Aug. 9–11 and 16–18.

Tickets cost $22 on Thursdays and Fridays and $25 on Saturdays. Purchase at or at the door, pending availability. Seating is limited.

Stage Right’s creative team includes stage directors Bill Ivins and Jamie McDonald, and musical directors Jenna Hayes and Benjamin Bliss.

Ivins said the show is a hilarious take on the classic tale that is at times romantic and melodic.

“Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans,” Ivins said.

“Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again.”

The show was underwritten by the District Association, a local group which funds cultural and improvement projects throughout the Lower Valley not paid by tax dollars.

“It is only with the generosity of underwriters that we can produce local theater,” Froehlich said.

Despite being an amateur production, it costs thousands of dollars to produce and requires hundreds of hours behind-the-scenes to make it a reality, he said.

The Aug. 11 performance will be preceded by a cabaret fundraiser which begins at 7 p.m. The cabaret will feature live musical performances, with an appetizer buffet provided by Walnut Grill. Proceeds from the cash bar will be benefit Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

Likewise, a special event will mark the Aug. 18 show. Children are encouraged to wear costumes and can “Meet the Royals” at 7 p.m.

The cast features Sadie Lorence, Xavier Perry, Olivia Pistella, Jack Lorence, Abigail Kusluch and Duncan Regan. Also featured are Kinsley Beachler, Quentin Cook, Alyssa Fabian, Anna Ferris, Ellen Gray, Sasha Hainan, Natalka Harris, and Travis Michaels.

Aspinwall Riverfront Park is located at 285 River Avenue.