Once Upon a Mattress
Closed 1h 40m
Once Upon a Mattress
79

Once Upon a Mattress NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(94 Reviews)
Positive
83%
Mixed
10%
Negative
7%
Members say
Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Quirky

About the Show

The Transport Group presents a revival of this zany musical retelling of the classic story of 'The Princess and the Pea,' featuring Jackie Hoffman as Princess Winnifred and John “Lypsinka” Epperson as Queen Aggravain.

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Member Reviews (94)

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70
Overdone, Great music, Fun, Great for kids, Slightly disappointing

See it if you need a OUAM fix. The show is delightful fluff, but this production never soared. I liked the projected sets, but others didn't.

Don't see it if you want a stellar version. Lypsinka overdoes it. Hoffman is sweet, but lacks presence and voice. The cast needs some diversity.

92
Delightful, Enchanting, Clever, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you want to see a great cast perform a classic. Great fun!

Don't see it if you don't like "fairy tales". This is really well done but it's still basically an adult cartoon.

Critic Reviews (22)

The New York Times
December 13th, 2015

"'Mattress' has its charms, but they do wear thin…This production is never quite smooth enough, on the one hand, or wild enough, on the other, to consistently hold the attention. That is, except when Ms. Hoffman is blushing and belting or Mr. Epperson is doing Lypsinka doing Aggravain...More surprisingly, Ms. Hoffman’s Winnifred is genuinely affecting...That turns out to be quite enough to win the hearts of a prince, and an audience."
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Time Out New York
December 14th, 2015

"The chief pleasure of this small-budget but zestfully acted production is to see a ham like Hoffman wax girlish, as well as deliver the slapstick—vocal and physical—the role requires...No wonder the piece has become a staple of community theaters and TV specials since the 1960s...If you’re priced out of Broadway’s biggest attractions and welcome a night of old-fashioned fun served up with style, 'Mattress' has plenty of bounce."
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The Hollywood Reporter
December 13th, 2015

"It's a thin, silly story to fuel a two-and-a-half hour musical, and the antic book features more than a few groan-worthy gags. The score, too, is unmemorable...But assuming you're in the right mood, the show is fun nonetheless, and this production, exuberantly directed by Jack Cummings III, is ultimately hard to resist. Hoffman is a deliciously daffy Winnifred. She uses her expert comic timing and nasal vocal delivery to make her character's desperation hilariously palpable."
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New York Daily News
December 14th, 2015

"The freewheeling new 'Once Upon a Mattress' comes with a concept: Belt loudly and carry a big shtick. The plan works for this musical riff on 'The Princess and the Pea' that made a Broadway star out of Carol Burnett in 1959...At nearly 2 1/2 hours, it takes too long to get to the happily ever after. But when it comes, Hoffman is there for another zinger."
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AM New York
December 13th, 2015

"An offbeat, joyful, absolutely triumphant production...It combines an affection for old-fashioned musical comedy with a downtown vibe and pumped-up hormonal spirit. Feeling scrappy but actually quite elaborate, it features a full-size orchestra, big vocals and jaunty dance choreography. Hoffman is looney, sincere and truly hilarious...The revival is dedicated to the memory of its composer, Mary Rodgers, who passed away last year. She would have loved it."
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Theatermania
December 14th, 2015

"With jazz-infused music by Mary Rodgers and the dramatic heft of a cocktail party joke, 'Once Upon a Mattress' feels straight out of the waning days of Broadway's Golden Age. The show still sparkles with glitz. Beware, however: Nostalgia can be deceiving...Unfortunately, the book has not aged as gracefully. Many scenes feel like amusing diversions rather than crucial plot points."
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BroadwayWorld
December 13th, 2015

"There's no shortage of big laughs when one of Broadway's funniest supporting clowns gets the full leading lady treatment in director Jack Cummings III's deliciously raucous production… 'Once Upon a Mattress' is bursting at the seams with performers loaded with showbiz pizzazz...Transport Group's 'Once Upon a Mattress' may be the best reason to venture down to the Lower East Side since Yonah Schimmel learned how to make a knish."
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Lighting & Sound America
December 14th, 2015

"'Once Upon a Mattress' is an old-fashioned clown show; even in its expanded version, it has the feel of something cribbed from a mid-century television variety show...Cummings' production is a collection of hits and misses...The cold truth is, Hoffman inhabits one show and Epperson is in another one altogether...As it happens, it's not enough to cast a clown show with clowns - you need the right kind of clowns."
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Talkin' Broadway
December 13th, 2015

"Absolutely nothing about this wacky, malfunctioning carousel ride of a production is predictable, and against the odds, everything about it works…If Cummings, Hoffman, Epperson, and company have made this production an explosion of theatrical and comedic energy, their achievement isn't one for the ages only because 'Once Upon a Mattress' isn't a show for the ages. But even grade-D titles deserve grade-A treatments, so give them credit for that."
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Theatre is Easy
December 13th, 2015

"It's not the greatest musical ever written, but its stars, supporting cast, and creative team deliver a near-flawless production of this silly, sassy, modern fairy tale...A supporting cast full of first-rate singer/actors carries us through the two-plus hours of 'Once Upon A Mattress' so effortlessly it feels like the time just speeds by."
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Theater Pizzazz
December 13th, 2015

"'Mattress' is the musical comedy adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Princess and the Pea that is keeping audiences guffawing with silly, rollicking pleasure...And, oh, what a cast of characters jaunty Jack Cummings III (director) has gathered... Hoffman is delightfully daffy and droll in the role, utilizing some interesting vocal techniques in her song delivery."
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CurtainUp
December 13th, 2015

"Hoffman carries the show but doesn't monopolize it given accomplished work of the supporting cast…It isn't that Cummings has done anything extraordinarily daring to a show already done to death...However, he has kept a clear vision of what this show is and isn't as it moves from one silly scene and one charming song and dance to the next…For good wholesome family fun, you can't top 'Once Upon a Mattress.'"
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T
December 15th, 2015

"Transport Group presents this revival with delicious gender-bending bits and pieces that often bring the house down with raucous and spirit-filling laughter...'Once Upon A Mattress' has a truly ensemble cast that brings to life the clever book and the catchy score and engages the audience on several levels from the simple to the profound...Under Jack Cummings III’s sensitive and careful direction, the entire cast is superb."
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New York Theater
December 13th, 2015

"The elastic-faced Hoffman has finally gotten a leading role she’s long deserved…Her rendition of 'I’m Shy' is a highlight of the season…A cast of first-rate comic pros executes the daffy plot…Given all the goodies, it is easier to forgive the ways the musical is dated…A running time of 150 minutes has become too long for what is essentially sketch comedy. And, as good as their performances are, the humor is far less funny than it once must have been."
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Broadway Blog
December 14th, 2015

"New, fabulously funny production...Hoffman has big shoes to fill, as Carol Burnett originally created the role. She effortlessly succeeds. With impressive vocal and physical gymnastics, Hoffman owns the role...this newly scrubbed version of 'Once Upon A Matttress' provides the perfect escapist antidote to 'transport' us to a magical world of musical theater."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
December 16th, 2015

"Despite the lack of any songs that have become standards, Rodgers and Bayer’s score is consistently amusing and listenable...The book, however, has too many minor diversions, and there’s not quite enough wit to sustain what is, after all, a rather innocuous narrative for a grown-up audience...At a somewhat overlong two hours and 25 minutes, 'Once Upon a Mattress' isn’t a great show, but it’s cute, sprightly, and more charming than you might expect."
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Times Square Chronicles
December 14th, 2015

"As the orchestra plays the opening strains from the Transport Group’s revival of 'Once Upon a Mattress,' a smile will start to spread all over your face and will stay there for more than 2½ hours. Ah…an old fashion musical done well. What makes this production such a delight is the new orchestrations by Frank Galgano and Matt Castle."
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Broadway & Me
December 23rd, 2015

"The director, who has come up with some terrifically imaginative concepts for his company's past productions, seems just as much adrift. His big contribution is having an artist augment the show's low-budget scenery by drawing in additional elements in simulated real time via video projections. But he isn't able to get his cast performing as though they're all in the same show."
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The Huffington Post
December 14th, 2015

"Fairy tales that end with the proverbial 'everyone lived happily ever after' are strictly lightweight, one-note fare. The revival of 'Once Upon a Mattress' off-Broadway at the Abrons Arts Center, is no exception...It's a staid Fifties-style work, though Mary Rodgers' score is melodious and Marshall Barer's lyrics enjoyable. The Transport Group's rendition is fairly lively, given its parameters, and Hoffman is a standout. Known as a belter, she can also carry more tender melodies."
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M
December 15th, 2015

"The cast is studded throughout with first-rate talents, and they’re given a number of chances to demonstrate it...The celebrated inventiveness of director Cummings is also evident in the physical production...What could use a bit more buoyancy is the book. It’s undoubtedly clever, but it does occasionally hit some lumpy moments. These are small quibbles when it comes to more than two hours of comedy that bubble very much like uncorked vintage champagne."
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NY Theatre Guide
December 14th, 2015

"So we have two meta performers, whose very casting is ironic commentary on their roles, while all about them are more conventionally cast in a conventional, funny, tuneful ’50s musical-comedy burlesque of The Princess and the Pea. How does the experiment work? Splendidly...For tuneful family holiday fun, with an energetic cast kicking up its heels in the service of bringing extra oomph to tried-and-true material, this 'Mattress' is hard to beat."
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Village Voice
December 15th, 2015

"Transport Group's production is delightful, timely, and utterly winning. 'Mattress' itself is lumpy and overlong...Several charming musical numbers feel tacked on. But under Jack Cummings's sly direction, it's smartly designed and gorgeously dressed; the entire cast excels."
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