Running To Places does Once Upon A Mattress

by imageguy

Running To Places, the Ithaca youth theater group that I shoot for, put on another spectacular series of performances this month at the Ithaca High School Kulp Auditorium. This season’s first production was Once Upon A Mattress, the farcical tale of the Princess and the Pea.  Emily Goodell was spectacular, as she usually is, as Princess Winnifred, a part she had played before for a Trumansburg School performance.

Emily has such spunk and pizazz, with tireless energy, a wonderful Broadway voice, and expression that just won’t quit. Opposite Geoff Peterson (another Trumansburg student) as Prince Dauntless, they knocked ’em dead during “Song of Love” ( a girl named Fred). And Emily’s performance of “Shy” was equally amazing.

Geoff gave wonderful, expressive performances as the love struck, eager to marry, Dauntless. Whether being pressured by the Queen or interpreting for his mute father, the King, Geoff was funny, entertaining, and commanding. His vocals are always stunning and he gave great life to the part.

Shauna Belokur played the evil, manipulative Queen Aggravain well enough to love her and hate her equally. The cast cowered as she demanded silence and obedience, only to be foiled in the end by those who believed in love.  Cole Tucker pantomimed himself into everyone’s heart as the nonspeaking King Sextimus the Silent, chasing the maids of the castle, and trying desperately to explain the facts of life to Dauntless.

Eliza Vann and Adam Beckwith gave beautiful moving performances as the lovers Lady Larkin and Sir Harry with beautiful vocals and sweet duets.

And certainly I cannot help but rave about the performances of Elias Spector-Zabusky as the Jester and Sarah Beckwith as the Minstrel. Elias has this amazing hair that simply stood on end for the part. Many would have assumed this was some spectacular wig, but it is his own incredible locks. His dancing, singing, and wonderfully expressive humorous performance was nothing short of magical.

The entire cast was fabulous. Great dance numbers and wonderful choreography, and as usual, terrific music from the pit band, made this a performance worthy of off Broadway.

My congratulations to everyone in the cast and backstage. My applause too for direction, sets, lighting, and costumes. You guys do this so well. I enjoyed every minute (twice!).

Images from this show are available for purchase at 20% Goes back to Running To Places.

All images are Copyright © George Cannon.