All tagged Once Upon a Mattress
Fairy tales and music: they are two things that played a big part of most of our childhoods. The combination of the two in an evening of entertainment is, for many of us, the ultimate form of entertainment bliss. With the Broadway musical Frozen, adapted from the animated film musical, which was in turn adapted by the 1884 fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson, working its way toward Broadway this spring, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the other musicals that have been adapted from fairytales and children’s stories.
Today I am celebrating the musical that essentially made a star out of Carol Burnett, one of our greatest living comediennes. Once Upon a Mattress opened Off-Broadway in 1959 and was soon ushered to Broadway not long after its opening. The musical features a score by Mary Rodgers (daughter of Richard Rodgers), lyrics by Marshall Barer, and a book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Barer. It was musical version of fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, taking a slightly satirical poke at the story of a princess who must earn the right to marry a prince, by proving her royalty through a test cooked up by a controlling queen.
With the Tony Award nominations announced and the race setting in to be a pretty uneventful one since Hamilton appears to be poised to win most of the prizes, I started thinking about what these awards would look like if Hamilton were not in the equation. For the Best Musical prize, I think it is fair to say that the race would come down to a dead heat between Waitress and Bright Star, with Bright Star edging out the win on Tony night. This got me thinking about other years where juggernauts like Hamilton were a foregone conclusion, and what might have happened if those titles had never been in play. Read along and debate with me.
With the TV-Live adaptation of The Wiz set to “Ease on Down the Road” tonight, I thought it would be fun to go back and look at the Broadway musicals made into TV productions/movies over the last 25 years. Some of them have been terrific and others have had their problems. Still, we always tune in and give them a chance with the hope that we will be delighted and transported by compelling staging, unique interpretations, spot-on casting and, of course, to support such endeavors so that they will continue to be produced. Here are the TV musical adaptations of the last 25 years, ranked from (in this writer’s opinion) from the worst to the best: