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Manchester Valley presents "Once Upon a Mattress"

If you think you know the class fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea," you may be in for a surprise once you watch the Manchester Valley High School presentation of the Rogers and Hammerstein classic musical comedy, "Once Upon a Mattress."

King Sextimus the Silent is the ruler of a fictional medieval country. He is cursed and is unable to speak until "the mouse devours the hawk." In the meantime his terror of a wife, Queen Aggravian has decreed that no one in the kingdom can marry until her son, Prince Dauntless the Drab is wed.

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But the evil queen doesn't want her son to get married so she devises a series of impossible tests that a princess must pass in order to marry the prince. Twelve princesses have failed, much to Sir Harry and Lady Larken's dismay, as they find they have a compelling reason to marry, with a baby on the way. Sir Harry searches and finds Princess Winnifred, who ends up passing the Queen's impossible "sensitivity" test much to the queen's dismay.

When the queen still objects to the match, Prince Dauntless tells her to "shut-up" which ends up breaking the King's curse and the queen becomes mute instead. And everyone lives happily ever after.

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The Fine Arts staff at MVHS have joined together to bring this play to life. Lisa Hirshback, instrumental music teacher, will direct the pit orchestra while vocal music teacher Beverly Mauck will act as vocal director and Bobbi Vinson, drama teacher, will serve as drama director.

"Mrs. Mauck and I brainstorm shows and this just seemed to fit the mood we were going for and the talent we have," Vinson said. "And the kids were tired of me picking shows from the fifties."

The cast features seniors Kady Gatland as Queen Aggravain, Rebecca Lefkowitz as Lady Larken, and Juliana Ottomano as Princess Winnifred. The rest of the principal roles are rounded out with Kimar Duncan as the Wizard, Drew Pescoe as King Sextimus, Colby Rhoten as Sir Harry, David Klima as the Minstrel, and Bethany Cox as the Jester.

Newcomer Julian Schoming plays Prince Dauntless.

"It's a lot of fun. It's really fun because the group of friends I have here is great and I like hanging out with them. Coming here every day after school is something I really look forward to. It's my kind of place," Schoming said.

Performances are at 7 p.m. April 26 through April 28 at the Maverick Auditorium, 3300 Maple Grove Road in Manchester. Tickets are available at the door, $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and free for children 5 and younger, with a paying adult.

Contact Bobbi Vinson for information at 410-3869-1673 or by email at

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Family Movie Night

St. Paul's Independent Church is hosting a Family Movie Night on Friday, April 27 in the church Fellowship Hall, 5010 St. Paul's Road in Millers.

Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the featured PG-rated movie, "Because of Winn-Dixie" will begin at 8 p.m.

Admission is free and concessions such as hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, brownies, and more will be available at family-friendly prices.

For more information, visit the church's website at http://www.Saintpaulsindependentchurch.com or call 410-374-1875.

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