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Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités


If you thought you knew the story of 'The Princess and The Pea,' you may be in for a walloping surprise! Did you know, for instance, that Princess Winnifred actually swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab? Or that Lady Larken's love for Sir Harry provided a rather compelling reason that she reach the bridal altar post haste? Or that, in fact, it wasn't the pea at all that caused the princess a sleepless night? Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. Chances are you'll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again.

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Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

The original production opened on May 11, 1959 at the off-Broadway Phoenix Theatre (now transformed into a multi-plex cinema, located on the Lower East Side), transferred later in the year to Broadway at the Alvin Theatre (now known as the Neil Simon Theatre) and then to several other Broadway theaters, finally playing at the St. James Theatre, for a total run of 244 performances. The musical was directed by George Abbott and choreographed by Joe Layton. Once Upon A Mattress marked the Broadway debut of later stage and TV legend Carol Burnett, who originated the role of Princess Winnifred. Also featured were Joseph Bova, Allen Case, Jack Gilford and Matt Mattox. Jane White played the role of Queen Aggravain, becoming the first African-American actress to portray a white character on the Broadway stage. Jack Gilford played King Sextimus The Silent and was later replaced by Will Lee, Gilford's standby, prior to the show's move to Broadway. The musical received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical as well as a Best Leading Actress nomination for Carol Burnett.

In August 1960, soon after the closing of the Broadway run, rehearsals were called for a seven-month US tour which would move from city to city by train, truck and bus. Jack Sydow stepped from his role as King into the position of Director. Dody Goodman played Winnifred at first, then Imogene Coca picked up the role. Carol Arthur understudied them both, and played the Nightingale of Samarkand. Fritzi Burr played the Queen and Buster Keaton played the King. Keaton's wife Eleanor was placed in the chorus. Keaton warmed up to the cast of younger actors, dispensing grandfatherly advice and chocolates freely.

A London production of Once Upon a Mattress opened in September 1960 at the Adelphi Theatre and ran for one month. Jane Connell starred and got rave notices.

A Broadway revival starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Lewis Cleale and Jane Krakowski opened on December 19, 1996 at the Broadhurst Theatre and ran for 188 performances. The production was nominated for the 1997 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. This Broadway revival wardrobe is on display at the Costume World Broadway Collection in South Florida.



Liste des chansons

Act I
Overture - Orchestra
Many Moons Ago - Minstrel
An Opening For a Princess - Prince Dauntless, Lady Larken, Ensemble
In a Little While - Sir Harry, Lady Larken
In a Little While (reprise) - Sir Harry, Larken
Shy - Princess Winnifred, Knights and Ladies
The Minstrel, the Jester, and I - Minstrel, Jester, King Sextimus
Sensitivity - Queen Aggravain, Wizard
The Swamps of Home - Princess Winnifred, Prince Dauntless, Ladies-in-Waiting
Normandy - Minstrel, Jester, Larken, King Sextimus
Spanish Panic - Orchestra, Ensemble
Song of Love - Prince Dauntless, Princess Winnifred, Ensemble

Act II
Entracte - Orchestra
Quiet - Queen Aggravain, Ensemble
Goodnight, Sweet Princess - Prince Dauntless (Revival only)
Happily Ever After - Princess Winnifred
Man to Man Talk - Prince Dauntless, King Sextimus
Very Soft Shoes - Jester
Yesterday I Loved You - Sir Harry, Lady Larken
Nightingale Lullaby - Nightingale of Samarkand
Finale - Prince Dauntless, Princess Winnifred, Queen Aggravain, King Sextimus, Ensemble

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