Loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, Stained Glass Theatre of Mid-Missouri will present “That’s Princess — With a Pea!” starting Oct. 18 at the theater, 830 East High St.
“It is a musical comedy with dance, song, craziness and zaniness,” Director Roger Martin said.
The play portrays a kingdom of lively characters. While Queen Logorrhea does not yet want to become a grandmother in order to preserve her youthful appearance, her son, Prince Fred, is eager to find a suitable wife. Having met the king at a ball, the queen forbids all forms of dancing in hopes to guard the prince from falling in love. However, the kingdom’s fate may change when one stormy night a young girl named Philamena arrives at the castle doors. After hearing the young girl is a princess, the queen decided to test her by placing a single pea under a pile of mattresses as the princess slept that night. Unbeknownst to Philamena, only her sensitivity to the pea will prove her true status.
Originally asked to co-direct the play, Bernie Houchens was surprised when Martin asked her to play Queen Logorrhea.
“I had never played the bad guy before so it’s been kind of fun bringing out the inner witch,” Houchens said while laughing. “Now my sisters are going to think this is terribly funny and think it’s type casting because I’ve all my life joked that I’m 29.”
Houchens described the play as a slapstick comedy.
“There is something in it for everybody,” she added. “Little kids love the pageantry and the story is funny. It’s a familiar story, most people know the story of ‘The Princess and the Pea,’ and it’s just a fun way to bring that fairy tale to life.”
Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18-19 and 25-26, and 2 p.m. Oct. 21 and 27. Tickets are $9 for all shows except opening night, which is $7 per person. Reservations to “That’s Princess — With a Pea!” can be made at sgtmidmo.org, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 573-634-5313.
“Get your reservations; you’re going to have a good time,” Martin said. “Bring your little kings and queens and princes and princesses in costume, and we’ll have the cast in costume greeting the guests and taking pictures with the little ones. It’ll be a lot of fun for everyone.”