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posted: 4/17/2014 1:17 PM

'Once Upon a Mattress' musical opens Friday in Arlington Heights

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  • Jonah Parra of Chicago as Prince Dauntless and Madalyn Griseto of Elk Grove Village as Princess Winifred.

    Jonah Parra of Chicago as Prince Dauntless and Madalyn Griseto of Elk Grove Village as Princess Winifred.
    Courtesy of ArtReach Educational Theatre

Submitted by ArtReach Educational Theatre

ArtReach Educational Theatre in partnership with Spotlite Theatrix Production Company and District 214 Community Education is staging "Once Upon a Mattress."

With music by Mary Rogers and lyrics by Marshall Barer, it's based on a book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer. The show is performed by a cast of Chicago professional actors and the students of the ArtReach Theatre Mentoring Program.

Shows will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 25; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26; 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, in Arlington Heights. Tickets are $16 in advance; $18 at the door. For ticket information, call (630) 808-5852 or visit

Once Upon a Mattress is based on the Hans Christian Anderson story of "The Princess and the Pea." In a small kingdom in medieval times, Prince Dauntless is looking for a bride. A dozen girls have already been tested and rejected as unsuitable by his mother, the talkative Queen Aggravain, who dominates the kingdom and her mute husband, King Sextimus. The marriage law of the land states "no one may wed until Dauntless shares his marriage bed" and the lords and ladies of the court are distressed.

The production is being directed and choreographed by Dan Walsh of Chicago, with assistant direction by Jonah Parra of Chicago, musical direction by Angela Panzarella of Wheeling and Madalyn Griseto of Elk Grove Village.

The cast includes: Madalyn Griseto of Elk Grove Village as Princess Winifred; Jonah Parra of Chicago as Prince Dauntless; Angela Panzarella of Wheeling as the Queen; Michael Rau of Palatine as the King; Dan Walsh of Chicago as Sir Harry; Gabbi Jones of Palatine as Lady Larken; and Tony Uzzle of Algonquin as the Wizard. Sharing the role of the Jester are Allinson Nakazawa of Palatine and Sammi Goodmanson of Arlington Heights. Sharing the role of the Minstrel are Isabel Kaegi of Palatine, Sophie Kaegi of Palatine, Jovana Van Teylingen of Elgin, Jodie Lloyd of Itasca, Victoria Walsh of Palatine and Rose Gould of Palatine.

The mission of ArtReach Educational Theatre is to expose children to all aspects of theater, music and dance. ArtReach accepts any child from beginner to advanced performing levels with a genuine interest in the arts from age 5 through high school. All children are challenged and encouraged. ArtReach offers private voice lessons, dance and acting classes, advanced musical theater workshops and summer Arts Camp programs in Palatine.

For information about ArtReach programs taught by professional actors and teachers, call (847) 372-7798 or consult the website