Pec Playhouse stages ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

Staff Report

PECATONICA, Ill. — Pec Playhouse Theatre in Pecatonica, Ill., will present Once Upon a Mattress Sept. 9-25. This grown-up fairy tale portrays the traditional story of the princess and pea in a whole new light.

The kingdom is in turmoil waiting for Prince Dauntless the Drab to wed since none of the courtiers can take a trip down the aisle until the prince does. And while Dauntless isn’t picky, his mother is. The queen devises nearly impossible tasks for each candidate to attempt, and none of the first 12 has been equal to the challenge.

The situation becomes dire for lady-in-waiting Larken when she discovers she and Sir Harry are about to become unwed parents. Sir Harry rides out to find a suitable candidate in a far-off land, but when he finally returns with Winifred the Woebegone from the swamps, no one is convinced this moat-swimming girl will make a suitable princess. When Dauntless the Drab falls head over heels, the kingdom conspires to help Winifred beat the queen at her own game.

Styled in a late-’50s Las Vegas night club where the castle wenches are show girls, the mute king is a Hefner-esque skirt-chaser, and the story-telling minstrel is a martini-sipping lounge act … this version of Once Upon a Mattress promises to surprise and delight audiences with fast-paced vocal numbers and dance styles ranging from a soft-shoe to free-style rock-and-roll.

Pec Playhouse Theatre is at 314 Main St., Pecatonica, Ill. Show times are 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m., Sundays.

The theater notes it has an opening for a princess in the production. Those interested should contact the theater.

Tickets ($10) are available by calling (815) 239-1210 or 1-877-PEC-PLAY, or by visiting

From the Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2011, issue

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