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HHS spring musical is 'Once Upon a Mattress'

Next weekend, Hastings High School students will put on a show that's very different from ones they've done in the past. This year's spring musical is "Once Upon a Mattress." More than 35 students are involved in the cast, technical crew and orchestra.

The musical, which features music by Mary Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer, is based on the classic fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea," only it's not quite so pretty. In this tale, the princess isn't your typical proper princess; the first time the audience meets her, she's swum the moat and climbed the castle wall because she was so eager to get in, said director Erik Pearson.

Another variation from the traditional tale comes from a modification the HHS crew made to the story. Instead of being set in medieval times, this production is set in 1969. The decision to update the setting was in part because the production was written in the mid-1900s, and because of the popularity of shows of that era, Pearson said. It's also a fun, colorful era with underlying struggles, and that's exactly the mood of the script. There's a distinct struggle between the queen, representing the older generation and establishment, and the princess, representing the younger "hippie"crowd, Pearson said.

The play is in direct contrast with last year's production, "Sunday in the Park with George," Pearson said, and that's one of the reasons this play was selected for this year.

"We like to vary the theatrical experience the students are doing," he said.

"Once Upon a Mattress" will be performed at Hastings High School Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 3, 4 and 5. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7 p.m. and the Sunday performance will be at 2 p.m. The show is expected to run about two hours.

The musical is a great show for all ages, Pearson said. It's a fun, comedic romp through a classic fairy tale with lots of dancing knights and ladies, he said.