• James Parry

Hudson Music Club continues tradition of bringing Broadway musicals to the region


Starring as Prince Dauntless the Drab (left) and Princess Winnifred the Woebegone are Andrew McLennan and Ashley Dunn photographed here in rehearsal at Hudson Village Theatre.

For over six decades now, the multi-talented, not-for-profit Hudson Music Club (HMC) has been thrilling audiences with critically-acclaimed productions for the entire family showcasing artists of all ages from throughout the region. All the while supporting myriad worthwhile causes including Le Pont/Bridging food bank, Nova Hudson, the Hudson Youth Centre, and La Passerelle women’s shelter.

Now in their 66th year, the HMC is staging the classic, smash hit Once Upon a Mattress, the musical comedy that first opened off-Broadway in 1959 and would go on a year later to mark the Broadway debut of legendary Carol Burnett who originated the role of Princess Winnifred.

Explained co-producer and costume designer, Gail Marchand, during a break from rehearsals earlier this week, “We wanted something fun and silly to beat the winter blues. And this show is the perfect antidote. It's a whimsical comedy with a loveable, funny cast of characters. With a brow-beaten, mute king, a Mama's-boy prince, and a rough and ready, moat-swimming princess, the goings-on in this crazy kingdom are sure to make you laugh.”

Directed by Nadia Verrucci with a cast and crew totalling 30, set design by Jean-Claude Olivier, and in rehearsal for the past four months, Once Upon a Mattress is actually an adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea. It's set in 15th Century Europe in a fictional medieval kingdom that is ruled by the devious Queen Aggravain and the mute King Sextimus the Silent, who suffers from a curse that can only be reversed 'when the mouse devours the hawk.'

Compounding the plot is the fact that, in an attempt to keep Prince Dauntless single, the queen has decreed that only the princess who can pass her test may marry her son. Further, no one else in the kingdom may marry until Prince Dauntless does. Gadzooks! And the plot thickens with much merrymaking and laughter going on.

The play opens next Thursday, February 15 with evening and matinee performances through February 25 at Hudson Village Theatre, 28 Wharf Road.

For reservations, go to villagetheatre.ca or call (450) 458-5361.

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