Well, this year's FOA youth production of "Once Upon A Mattress" has come and gone and was a resounding success! For those who may not be familiar with it, this play tells the "real" story of the princess and the pea. It was open to kids in grades 1 through 9.
First of all I want to make sure I mention the best thing that happened in this year's play. For the first time that I know of many of the major parts were played by members of the Church, and because of their faithfulness to the things they've been taught there were no performances or mandatory rehearsals scheduled on Sundays. I was there during auditions and heard many of them tell the producer right up front that they would not be available at all on Sundays, so she and the director were well aware of the situation before the parts were assigned. I have never known any play here not to have scheduled rehearsals and performances on Sunday--it was awesome.
The play was great fun! Jacob was the male lead--a simpering, wimpy mama's boy named Prince Dauntless. We didn't know he could sing on tune, so that was a very nice discovery! He did a wonderful job. Jocelyn Lonsdale played Princess Winifred (Fred for short), and she was a hoot! Her expressions were as funny as Carol Burnett's! It was just a fun, crazy trip through a medieval courtship. The whole thing was terrific--I liked it better than Revenge of The Sith!
The other fun thing about the play was that the closing night was on Jacob's 14th birthday. I had bought a huge cake and arranged with the producer to present it to him during curtain call. So, after the bows were taken and gifts were given to Ms. Actouka (producer) and Mr. Easton (director), I got up holding the cake and announced that this was "Prince Dauntless's" 14th birthday. The pianist started playing and Jake came back up on the stage and the whole crowd of about 150+ sang to him, then we shared the cake with the cast and audience. It was so fun to hear everyone break into applause and cheers when I announced his birthday! This is one I'm sure he'll remember for a long, long time.