Once Upon a Mattress OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    December 13, 2015
    Closing:
    January 3, 2016

    Theater: Abrons Arts Center Henry Street Settlement / 466 Grand Street, New York, New York, 10002

    Synopsis: 

    Transport Group’s revival of the raucous musical fairy tale "Once Upon A Mattress" stars the formidable Jackie Hoffman and the iconic John “Lypsinka” Epperson. During a kingdom-wide search to find a princess fit for the hapless Prince Dauntless, in swims the less-than-regal Princess Winnifred the Woebegone (Hoffman). Unrefined and undeniably charming, Winnifred is like no princess Dauntless has ever seen and his heart is captured. The truly terrible Queen Aggravain (Epperson) goes on a mission to come between her son and his soul mate in this retelling of the classic story of “The Princess and the Pea”. Forget everything you know about Happily Ever After. Directed by Jack Cummings III.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Once Upon a Mattress

    In ‘Once Upon a Mattress,’ Jackie Hoffman as Paradoxical Charmer

    Ben Brantley

    December 13, 2015: If you happen to be on Grand Street around 8 p.m. during the next few weeks, do not panic if you hear a noise that threatens to shatter the windows and buckle the sidewalks. It’s only Jackie Hoffman, telling the world that she is shy. “I’m SHY,” sings Ms. Hoffman, in the number that introduces her (it’s called “Shy”) in the Transport Group’s genial, patchy revival of the 1959 musical “Once Upon a Mattress,” which opened on Sunday night at the Abrons Arts Center. It’s a moment guaranteed to make audiences both flinch and grin like imbeciles, as one little word takes on the aural dimensions of a stampede of megaphone-wielding Ethel Mermans. Ms. Hoffman is portraying Princess Winnifred (Fred to her friends), a galumphing fairy-tale princess who doesn’t know her own strength, or lung power. And while she is several decades older than the young Carol Burnett was when she originated Winnifred on Broadway 50-some years ago, the diminutive Ms. Hoffman proves to be every inch — and decibel — the ingénue she needs to be.

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