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A New Twist On An Old Fairytale

ONCEUPONAMATTRES-PRE-2Before Shrek lived happily ever after and before Oz went wicked, Princess Winnifred swam the moat to find her prince.  In Cabrillo Music Theatre’s brand-new production, the classic tale of The Princess and the Pea will get turned on its ear in Once Upon a Mattress.

Once Upon a Mattress will be at the Kavli Theatre from Saturday, April 20, to Sunday, April 29.  The theatre is located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.


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Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.  A post-show discussion with cast, staff and audience will follow the Saturday, April 21, 2:00 pm performance.  A signed performance for the deaf and hard-of-hearing will take place on the Friday, April 27 performance.

In keeping with the theme of the show, any audience member showing up in pajamas will receive a free gift.

Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks, through any Ticketmaster location or by phone (800) 745-3000.  For groups of 10 or more, please call Group Sales, Cabrillo Music Theatre at (805) 497-8613.  Ticket prices range from $30-$65. Discounts available for seniors on all performances.  For ticket and theatre information, call (805) 449-ARTS (2787).

Once Upon a Mattress, the musical that gave Carol Burnett her Broadway start, spins the classic fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, into musical comedy gold.  With music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and a book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer, Once Upon a Mattress tells the story of Winnifred, the girl who might be a princess, and who swims the moat in order to marry Prince Dauntless the Drab.  In addition to Bets Malone as Winnifred, Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production stars Scott Reardon as Prince Dauntless, Tracy Lore as Queen Aggravain, and Danny Gurwin as the Minstrel.

Once Upon a Mattress is the perfect complement to our family-friendly season of musicals.  Audiences may know it from seeing it in schools and youth theatre programs, but Cabrillo’s production gathers the region’s very best performers to bring this classic musical to life,” said Lewis Wilkenfeld, Cabrillo Music Theatre’s Artistic Director.

Bets Malone, a favorite of Cabrillo audiences, returns to the Civic Arts Plaza stage, having starred in last year’s comic The Marvelous Wonderettes, plus the more dramatic role of “Mother” in Cabrillo’s Ragtime.

“There’s no finer musical theatre performer in this part of the country than Bets,” continued Wilkenfeld. “‘Princess Winnifred’ and Bets Malone is a match made in theatre heaven!”

Cabrillo Music Theatre’s Once Upon a Mattress will be directed by Richard Israel, making his Cabrillo debut.  Israel will be joined by choreographer Cheryl Baxter, and musical director Daniel Thomas, the latter leading the Cabrillo Music Theatre Orchestra.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

RICHARD ISRAEL (Director) makes his Cabrillo Music Theatre directing debut with Once Upon A Mattress. Most recently, he directed Falsettos for the Third Street Theatre, as well as Gypsy for West Coast Ensemble and the world premiere of Having It All (7 Ovation Award Nominations) at the NoHo Arts Center. Other directing credits include A Christmas Carol at the Norris Theatre, Meet Me In St. Louis for Musical Theatre West and Bell, Book and Candle for The Colony Theatre, as well as the critically acclaimed west coast premiere of Anita Bryant Died For Your Sins, the Los Angeles premiere of Big - The Musical, Assassins (L.A. Weekly Award Nomination for Direction and Outstanding Musical, LADCC Award for Musical Ensemble) and Floyd Collins all for Hollywood’s West Coast Ensemble Theatre. For the Musical Theatre Guild, he has directed High Fidelity, One Touch Of Venus, High Spirits and Violet as well as staged readings of Dani Girl and Rocket Science for the Festival Of New American Musicals. Richard is the proud recipient of the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Career Achievement Award for Directing, and currently serves as the artistic director for West Coast Ensemble Theatre.

CHERYL BAXTER (Choreographer) has been in the entertainment business for over 30 years working in theater, commercials, film and television. She started her career as an assistant choreographer to Gene Kelly and Kenny Ortega in Coppola’s film, One From the Heart and assisted Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her. She has been seen in over 20 films including Xanadu, Tap, Pennies From Heaven, 500 Days of Summer, and the new Muppet Movie. Cheryl has danced beside such legends as Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr. The Nicholas Brothers and Donald O’Connor. Television credits include “Glee,” “General Hospital,” the Academy and Golden Globe Awards, “How I Met Your Mother” and “Mike and Molly.”  Cheryl has performed in the Los Angeles and First National companies of Cats and 42nd Street and was in the Broadway telecast of Sophisticated Ladies. Currently she directs and choreographs productions for Universal Studios in Japan and Singapore. She is thrilled to be back at Cabrillo Music Theatre once again, after choreographing Oliver, and the 2010 Christmas Spectacular starring Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy.

DANIEL THOMAS (Musical Director) is making his Cabrillo debut.  Recent music direction credits: Winter Wonderettes, Annie, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Producers (Ovation nomination), The Pirates of Penzance for Musical Theatre West, as well as their staged readings of Anyone Can Whistle, Ben Franklin in Paris and Saturday Night; Guys and Dolls, …Forum, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Andrews Brothers and A Grand Night for Singing for the Norris Theatre; numerous productions of Forever Plaid, Always…Patsy Cline for 3-D Theatricals, Big for West Coast Ensemble, Fanny for Musical Theatre Guild, A Year With Frog and Toad for International City Theatre. As director: Forever Plaid, and The Marvelous Wonderettes. Onstage: “Jinx” in Forever Plaid, “Cornelius” in Hello, Dolly!, “Prez” in The Pajama Game, “Gerald” in Me & My Girl, “Fodor” in Crazy for You and the “Dapper Dans” of Disneyland. Daniel spent 14 years at Musical Theatre West as the General Manager and is now the Director of Education at the Norris Center for the Performing Arts.

ABOUT THE CAST

BETS MALONE (Princess Winnifred) is thrilled to be returning to Cabrillo Music Theatre after being seen in The Marvelous Wonderettes and Ragtime. She originated the role of “Suzy” in The Marvelous Wonderettes (original cast recording) and Winter Wonderettes (studio cast recording) Regionally: “Hodel” Fiddler on the Roof, “Martha” 1776, “Natalie” All Shook Up, “Adelaide” Guys and Dolls, “Annie” Annie Get Your Gun, “Eva” Evita, “Nancy” Oliver, “Polly” Crazy for You, “Sally” Me and My Girl, “Hildy” On The Town, and “Eve” Children of Eden - to name a few. She can be seen on the DVD “The Ten Commandments: the Musical” starring Val Kilmer, and her vocal talents can be heard as Talulah the monkey in “Barbie as the Island Princess” and as the singing voice of “Velma” in Scooby Doo and The Music of The Vampire. Her longest run to date…wife of Director/Actor Steven Glaudini.

SCOTT REARDON (Prince Dauntless) has returned to LA after finishing a four-year run with the world’s longest running musical, Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco. Prior credits include two seasons with the Tony Award Winning Utah Shakespeare Festival where he worked on the World Premiere of Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical, originating the role of “Red” in The Wildest at PCPA Theatrefest, touring the country in A Kid’s Life, performing as a featured vocalist for the San Francisco Symphony, Thoroughly Modern Millie at Musical Theatre West of Long Beach, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Romeo and Juliet, Nickelodeon’s Slime Time: The Live Show, and Blue’s Clues Live. Scott can also be seen in a number of spots for Cisco Systems, Visa, Norton Anti-Virus, and LG Electronics. Scott received his training from UC Irvine and is the recipient of the Actor’s Equity Association’s Roger Sturtevant Award.

TRACY LORE (Queen Aggravain). NY & National Tour: Peter Pan staring Cathy Rigby as “Mrs. Darling”. Regional: Musical Theatre West-Hairspray as “Velma”, The Wedding Singer as “Angie”, The Producers as “Hold Me Touch Me”, All Shook Up as “Sandra” (Ovation nominee), The Full Monty as “Vicki”, Me & My Girl as “Jacqueline”, The Will Rogers Follies as “Betty”; 3D Theatricals-The Drowsy Chaperone as “Drowsy”, Peter Pan as “Mrs. Darling”; Cabrillo Music Theatre-Happy Days as “Mrs. Cunningham”, 42nd Street as “Dorothy Brock”; Reprise-Carousel as “Mrs. Mullin”; Moonlight-Hairspray as “Velma”, Crazy for You as “Irene”, Guys & Dolls as “Adelaide”, Me & My Girl as “Jacqueline”; Music Theatre of Wichita-The Drowsy Chaperone as “Drowsy”; South Coast Repertory-A Little Night Music “Quintet”; CLO South Bay Cities-Cinderella as “Queen”; Sacramento Music Circus-Brigadoon as “Meg”; The Norris-Boeing, Boeing as “Berthe”, Thoroughly Modern Millie as “Meers”;  Other: Chicago as “Velma” (AriZoni Award), Company as “Joanne”, The Wizard of Oz as “Witch”, Into the Woods as “Witch”.  Member of The Musical Theatre Guild and AEA.

DANNY GURWIN (Minstrel) has been performing on and off-Broadway for the last 14 years. He made his New York debut playing “The Nurse” in the off-Broadway hit Shakespeare’s R & J, a 4-man re-telling of the Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet, to rave reviews. Other off-Broadway credits include The Thing About Men, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Manhattan Theatre Club’s Captains Courageous, as well as the Jewish Repertory’s Kuni-Leml & A Majority Of One, A New Brain at Lincoln Center and the hit Forbidden Broadway. On Broadway, Danny made his debut as “Hal” in The Scarlet Pimpernel. He also stood stark naked onstage for over 500 performances as “Malcolm” in The Full Monty. Other Broadway appearances include Urinetown, “Laurie” in the musical adaptation of the classic Little Women, and the Encores! revival of Kismet as the all-mighty “Caliph”. Danny also played “Henrik” the New York City Opera’s A Little Night Music, a role he recreated later at the Los Angeles Opera. He also co-starred in the LA company of the Broadway hit How The Grinch Stole Christmas at the Pantages. Other LA credits include Little Shop Of Horrors and Cats, both with Musical Theatre West, I Left My Heart at the Laguna Playhouse, and “Jean Valjean” in Les Miserables at the Moonlight. On TV, you may have seen him on “Desperate Housewives”, “Law & Order”, and most recently “The Young & The Restless”. Danny holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan and is currently on the faculty of AMDA-LA.

CABRILLO MUSIC THEATRE’s 2011-2012 season concludes with MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (July 20-29, 2012).

Cabrillo Music Theatre is the Ovation Award-winning Resident Musical Theatre Production Company of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, and a non-profit theatre organization.  For over three decades, Cabrillo has been enriching the cultural life of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties and the surrounding areas by providing an extraordinary performing arts experience through live, Broadway-quality productions of musical theatre. It is Cabrillo’s mission to provide the highest quality musical experience, to foster educational opportunities, and to promote cultural and artistic enrichment to enhance the quality of life in Southern California.  To this end, Cabrillo Music Theatre has established the Adopt-A-School, Adopt-a-senior, REACHOUT, and PET (Project Entertainment Troops) OUTREACH programs.  Since the inceptions of these programs in 2005, over 31,000 underserved children, in-need seniors, and active military have enjoyed Cabrillo Music Theatre’s productions at no charge. With the Adopt-A-School, Adopt-a-senior, and PET programs, Cabrillo makes live theatre accessible to children, seniors, and active military members who otherwise may never have the opportunity to experience a live musical theatre performance. Cabrillo’s Animal Rescue Program, instituted during our 2009 production of Cats, raises funds and awareness for homeless and abused dogs and cats.  For more information about Cabrillo Music Theatre’s OUTREACH programs, contact Janelle Meinert at (805) 497-8613 x4, or at info@cabrillomusictheatre.com.