Overflowed with talents filled with contagious energy, Los Alamitos High School's noteworthy performance of Once Upon a Mattress was certainly not a production to sleep on!
With an overprotective Queen (Shelby Marsh) in search for the perfect match for her esteemed son (Connor Franzen), Princess Winnifred is faced with multiple trials in her endeavor of sustaining love with the Prince. The Queen is in search for the most crucial test, praying that Princess Winnifred will not pass, in hopes that her son would stay with her forever.
One of the most exceptional actresses on the stage was Hasti Bakian, who played the role of Princess Winnifred. From the very moment she took the stage, Bakian stole the show with her theatrical facial expressions and her lovable, witty personality. Not only was she an outstanding actress, she also had a tremendous voice. She sang with a distinct, unique voice that was absolutely magnificent. Another extravagant actor was Simon Martin, who played the role of King Sextimus the Silent. Martin, is mute the entire show and yet has the most character, without saying a word you can hear his thoughts through his facial expressions and movements.
As the show progressed, more conflicts started to emerge. Lady Larken (Micaela Erickson) and her love interest Sir Harry (Christian D'Alessandro) are expecting a child. This is a huge problem considering they can not get married. Whenever they sang together, their voices seemed to flow together in such beautiful harmony.
Another great aspect of the show was, the lighting, considering they only had 15 working lights was absolutely astounding. To still have very challenging lighting designs with less working lights than normal, and to be able to pull it off is very impressive. The lights would fit the scene perfectly, with all the right colors of the night, or day. Astonishing job, Evan Cusato. The set was a very beneficial factor in the show. To have so many actors/actresses in the cast the set balanced every person out. The top of the set that looked like a balcony could hold many actors. Which made a great balance for levels between the people on the floor and the people on top of the set.
Los Alamitos High School did not have one person asleep in that audience, for their production was absolutely phenomenal.
by Amy Leonard of El Dorado
Los Alamitos' 'Once Upon a Mattress' is a superb performance
From exuberant dance breaks to heart-tugging songs of love, Los Alamitos High School presents an excellent rendition of the classic tale of the Princess and the Pea.
Hasti Bakian, who brings to life the lovable and humorous Princess Winnifred, fills the stage with her brilliant acting choices and outstanding voice. She brilliantly wove together her acting and singing to perfectly resemble a desperate yet independent princess.
Shelby Marsh stars as the firm, commanding Queen Aggravain, her stiff and commanding posture poised with nobility mixing with her ingenious use of her voice as a platform to build this great character.
Simon Martin is supreme in his performance as the hilarious King Sextimus the Silent. Despite a lack of dialogue, he expressed everything that needed to be said with creative and dynamic gesticulation that continued even when he was not the focus of the scene.
Connor Franzen shines in his role as Prince Dauntless. His youthful and boyish countenance is a unique and energetic portrayal of this kind and gentle prince.
Tara Virgil's character of the Minstrel is radiant as she successfully and humorously alternates between her job of telling the true story of the Princess and the Pea and becoming a character herself. Her interactions with the rest of the cast can be easily seen as she embodies her character to its fullest extent.
Micaela Erickson does a smashing job as her portrayal of Lady Larkin. Graceful, natural, and purposeful, her acting is very nicely topped off with her incredible and beautiful voice.
In spite of technical difficulties prior to the show, Evan Cusato and Owen Robles operated lighting with excellence and creativity, smooth transitions and vibrant colors providing the story with whatever scene or mood it called for.
Alora Hand's incredible artistic talents gave each character unique and admirable makeup, each character's suitable and appropriate, whether it be natural or gaudy to express each character's personality.
The set crew did amazing with their designs and scenes, all resourceful and simple yet fulfilling every purpose and balancing out the cast nicely when such a large ensemble would have proved cumbersome.
With every member of this fantastic performance putting in full effort, Los Alamitos High School's "Once Upon a Mattress" is a very professional and accomplished performance.
by Garrett Larson of El Dorado
Los Al's performers in "Once Upon A Mattress" were anything but "Shy" in this whimsical musical
Once Upon A Mattress - the story of a young prince yearning for love, a domineering royal queen, a king who's cursed with no voice, and an unrefined princess who cannot wait to marry. All these characters were intertwined to create a hearty and outright hilarious musical that is unlike any fairytale ever told!
The lights arise on the Minstrel (Tara Virgil), the narrator of this unusual tale, who describes the current dilemma her kingdom faces. No one is to be married, or even in a romantic entanglement with anyone until Prince Dauntless (Connor Franzen) is married to a royal princess. Virgil does a fantastic job in her role, making character choices unlike all others, and exuding confidence while onstage.
Likewise, Franzen embodied his characters naïve spirit with a childlike giddiness and youthful gestures that complemented the show, and Princess Winifred's (Hasti Bakian) strong persona, tremendously. Dauntless's mother (Shelby Marsh), however, contrasted greatly with everyone in the cast, which makes her so brilliant. The moment she starts interviewing potential princesses her nobility and presence is known, and as the show continued, her choices were over the top and beautifully executed.
Hasti Bakian, as Princess Winifred, was anything but "Shy" from the moment light shined on her face for the first time, to her final bow at curtain call. Her deep frowns were a great complement to her pearly white smiles that proved she was unlike any other princess. Wanting love, she beat barriers that had proven difficult for princesses in the past and continued to keep her phenomenal vocal quality.
King Sextimus the Silent (Simon Martin) was perhaps the biggest delight that graced the Los Al stage. Martin was always engaged every moment he was onstage whether he was highlighted in the scene or not. His purposeful movement and hilarious pantomiming showed his dedication to his voiceless character, and added hysterical comedic relief.
The show would not have been complete without the use of the unique set, designed by Los Al Tech. Garnished with rocks to create a medieval stone castle the team worked great with light and dark colors, enhancing the stones to take on the look of a real stone arch.
All in all, the cast worked well together, always focused on the story at hand, and always singing in perfect harmony.
by Hunter Nelson of El Dorado
Los Alamitos' "Once Upon a Mattress" is stacked with twenty layers of success
Have you ever slept uncomfortably? Have you ever taken a test? Well Princess Winnifred understands what it's like sleeping on twenty mattresses with a tiny little pea disturbing her rest all for a test to prove if she is a real princess.
"Once Upon a Mattress" is set in 15th-Century Europe, where a fictional medieval kingdom is ruled by a silent King, due to an unhappy curse, causing the Queen to take control of the kingdom. When the prince is starting the process to find a princess to marry, the Queen constantly makes the eligible princess take an impossible test, always resulting in a fail. Sir Harry, not being able to marry his pregnant girlfriend until the Prince is married, takes action and brings Princess Winnifred, where the Queen once against plans an impossible test surprisingly concluding on her passing and marrying the Prince.
The whole cast of 50 people maintain an extreme focus, putting in a much respected effort while they are on stage. Due to the fact there are a bunch of people in the cast it is hard to sound as one on the stage, but the Los Alamitos' cast impressively hit all the harmonies, blend, making them sound a united one voice.
One of the standout musical numbers include "Spanish Panic", the whole cast dances repeatedly until they start feeling tired and achy finally collapsing. Each member demonstrated that exceptionally well, while Princess Winnifred (Hasti Bakian) and Prince Dauntless (Connor Franzen) looked uneffected and easy. They all portray it by their facial and body movements, making it believable.
A few standout cast members include Princess Winnifred (Hasti Bakian), King Sextimus the Silent (Simon Martin), and Lady Larkin (Micaela Erickson). Hasti is jaw-dropping, breathtaking, and mind-blowing! Her voice is so constantly incredible in all the songs she sings in. Her facial expressions and body movements in portraying her quirky and awkward character are hilarious, never falling out of character. Simon Martin doesn't have a line until the final scene yet always was intriguing and eye-grabbing. Whether he was the center of attention or in the background, he was always engaged in the scene and being entertaining. Lastly, Micaela Erikson demands the stage with her pure and mature voice and acting abilities causing her to be a very lovable and relatable character.
by Jordan Chacon of El Dorado
Los Alamitos wasn't shy in their production of Once Upon A Mattress"
Who said you have to be "lady like" to get your prince charming? Los Alamitos tells a tale of your not-so-average princess needing to pass the queens difficult, princess test to marry her prince who was the queens son. The marriage of the prince leads to the marriage of significant other throughout the village.
Winnifred, confident princess played by Hasti Bakian was indeed the princess who finally passes the queens "sensitivity test" which triumph the village with finally being able to get married to the person they loved. Hasti executed great diction with the strong physicality which brought a sense of commitment to the character of Winnifred. She also shows commitment with her big and vibrant facial expressions which is greatly portrayed in her song "shy."
King Sextimus the Silent provided comic relief to this show with his engaged facial expressions and well as his over the top movements which helped move the story along. In "man to man talk" it was evident what was trying to be said by the king because his song commitment of his character releasing great movements and facial expressions. Because of this Prince Dauntless could act off of the dramatic actions of the king as well as any other boy would in "man to man talk".
Despite having every directors tech nightmare; the light board catching on fire, Evan Cusate does an efficient job of portraying this story through his vivid color changes and creating a specific mood for each one. Having only 15 lights able for use he had very thorough lights for each different scene like the purple and green shown during the wizards scene creating a dark and mysterious aspect to the show. and character. Although spotlights were very bright they never missed their cue on who had the next shining moment.
The fluent scene changes helped the engagement through the show always wondering what would happen next. As well as the very desist details within the set like the shading of the rocks creating a more real, modern look.
Exploring the power of love and laughter Los Alamitos "Once Upon A Mattress brings life to the stage in this not so typical princess and prince love story.
by Katarina Blagojevic of El Dorado
Los Alamitos 'Once Upon a Mattress' is a fairytale
One single spotlight follows a Minstrel down from the audience onto a dark black stage. Then, lights from the back of the stage create three dark silhouettes as the story of the princess and the pea is shared through song. And so begins Los Alamitos performance of Once Upon a Mattress.
Hasti Bakian shines as Princess Winnifred, a girl of royalty who doesn't have the traditional idea of how to be a lady. With her incredible voice and facial expressions, Bakian pulls the whole show together. Whether she's singing one of her hilarious songs or yelling at the queen, Hasti keeps an infectious energy that resonates through the whole performance. She keeps the audience in stitches with her comical antics and long faces.
Playing Bakian's eventual love interest, Connor Franzen portrays Prince Dauntless. Franzen does a splendid job playing a child who is over shadowed and commanded by his mother, Queen Aggravian, but eventually blossoms into a young man who knows what he wants in his life. His relationship with the princess is apparent when he jumps or gets excited whenever he talks to her.
Shelby Marsh plays the fast-talking Queen Aggravain. Marsh's acting ability shines when she lectures her son with long monologues and commands him how to lead his life. She walks with a perfect queen-like stride and her hands never cease movement when she talks, making her look truly royal.
Dance Captains Ari Ishqair and Jessie Winslow did a phenomenal job incorporating many styles of dance as well as making sure the dances stuck to the theme and mood of the production. One particular instance is the Spanish Panic Sequence where many of the ensemble as well as some of the principle roles all had to do "the most tiring dance in all the land." Despite the very large group dancing on stage, everyone was synchronized and kept up their energy until they all had to flop on the floor out of desperation.
Los Al Tech Theatre's set design was extraordinary. With the walkway above the castle, and of course the giant bed, the whole performance was brought together with the set. Even smaller things like the giant bird cage was very detailed and added a professional touch on the show.
Los Alamitos cheerful performance of Once Upon a Mattress was magical and inspirational as it reminds the audience that love sometimes come from the place you least expect it.
by Krista Eliot of El Dorado
Los Al tells one tall tale
Princess Winnifred may not be the idealistic resemblance of a princess, because... well, she swam the moat for starters. But who says she can't be the first to score 100% on the infamous princess test?
Los Alamitos High School brings the classic story of "The Princess and the Pea" to a new and exciting light, in their extraordinary production of "Once upon a Mattress." A hilarious and fun-filled story about the craving for love in a kingdom so harshly ruled.
Hasti Bakian plays the hysterically goofy Princess Winnifred, a not-so-princess-like girl who arrives at the kingdom with dripping wet hair and a loud personality, immediately charming all but the harsh Queen Aggravian. Bakian delivers a stellar first impression as she incredibly belts out the irony presented in the song titled "Shy." Even when she isn't nailing her lines and singing notes with impeccable diction, Bakian truly captures the essence of this goofy princess in every way, shape and form with her large movements, crooked posture and colossal facial expressions, especially presented in "Songs of Love." A phenomenal relationship is developed between Bakian and Connor Franzen as Prince Dauntless as they brilliantly create a sense of switched roles of prince and princess. As a compliment to Bakian's large and hilariously manly character choices, Franzen cleverly becomes the squirmish and naïve prince with his captivating facials, noises and physicality especially prese nted within his meeting of Princess Winnifred and in "Songs of Love."
Shelby Marsh plays the sharply strict Queen Aggravain with emphatic yells and committed physicality, commanding the stage whenever she is of presence. Her largely loud character makes for a stark change in atmosphere once she is finally defeated and ripped of her once powerful voice. A hilarious contrast to the loudness of Marsh, is Simon Martin in his equally loud, yet silent portrayal of King Sextimus the Silent. Martin's character development and effectiveness in terms of contributions to the story are impeccable considering he says absolutely nothing until he is finally reunited with his voice, this especially being presented in "Man to Man Talk." His gift for pantomiming and the mocking of Queen Aggraviain make for a hilarious and certainly engaging sight to see all the way up into the very moment where he regains his equally hysterical voice, a stellar character choice.
The large ensemble full of constant engagement and purpose never felt crowded thanks to the spectacular set design by Los Al Tech. The symmetrical and leveled design achieved by the balconies and pillars allowed for the emergence of balance and is very pleasing to the eye. Another excellent sight to see is the various lighting aspects designed by Evan Cusato. The use of purple backlighting to create silhouettes of the multiple key characters that are being spoken about in the prologue, created a fantastical setting and a magically marvelous way to open the show.
Los Alamitos High School's exceptional production "Once upon a Mattress" brings love and life to the heart of this fantastical tale.
by Rachel Gray of El Dorado
Los Al's hilarious fairytale begins "Once Upon a Mattress..."
Fairytales mean to teach lessons, and that is no different when Los Alamitos High School premieres its production "Once Upon a Mattress" with a bang. Prince Dauntless must find a princess to wed, but his mother Queen Aggravain makes every potential candidate take a test, deeming it impossible to obtain the status as princess. But when the aggressive yet down-to-earth Princess Winnifred enters the picture, this endearing tale goes through twists and turns as Winnifred, or Fred, proves that a girl can be a princess by being herself while Prince Dauntless grows up by defying his overbearing mother. Producing its second musical in its theater history, Los Alamitos dazzles audiences with catchy songs, dance numbers, and even a drastically tall bed made up of twenty mattresses.
Among the most notable actors is Hasti Bakian, who portrays Fred, the princess who passes all of the princess tests to wed Prince Dauntless (Connor Franzen). Assertive and frank, Fred is not afraid to be herself, especially in the musical number "Songs of Love," in which she lifts a barbell, wrestles, drinks, and sings to prove she is a worthy princess. Bakian not only does all of these tasks with seemingly little effort, but also becomes her character with exaggerated facial expressions, a voice with personality, and an excellent singing voice.
As the story progresses, King Sextimus the Silent, played by Simon Martin, is a mute who chases after maidens and communicates through pantomime. Martin provides comic relief as his exaggerated pantomiming steals the stage even when the attention is not on him.
The entire play takes place in only one set, which consists of stone walls of a medieval castle and the king and queen's golden throne. It is clear that diligent work done by Los Al Tech has been made as the set looks like a realistic part of a castle where this adorable fairytale takes place.
The actors' makeup and hair, which are done by Alora Hand, help define the classes each character belongs in. Because Queen Aggravain is of high nobility, she wears red eyeshadow and lipstick in contrast to the minstrel, who wears natural makeup and has her hair in a simple braid. Some men like Sir Harry also wear eyeliner and blush, as well as have their hair slicked back, to define their status as nobility.
Despite having had parts of their lighting system explode, Los Alamitos does not show having any setbacks at all as they shine with excellence in their grand, polished show. Given its circumstances, Los Alamitos pays excellent homage to a classic Broadway play.
by Lilia Van of Huntington Beach-APA
Los Alamitos doesn't Shy away from the stage
A not so typical princess abruptly enters the lives of another royal family who is waiting for the perfect princess to marry their prince in Los Alamitos's "Once Upon a Mattress." The story involves a quite crude queen testing princesses for her son's hand in marriage. After months of testing a Sir of the castle sets out to find a perfect wife for the prince and comes back with an anything but normal princess. The story goes along to show the struggle for Princess Winnifred to prove herself to Queen Aggravain as Prince Dauntless falls more in love with her by the minute.
Hasti Bakian takes on the corky role of Princess Winnifred. Bakian's commitment to the character is obvious from the moment she walks on stage. Her expressive movements and booming voice fill the room. Winnifred's in your face attitude is show obviously in her first song "Shy". This number, although Bakian is the only one singing, got the ensemble very involved into it. They all had great facial reactions and looked very intrigued by everything happening on stage. Another strong character was Queen Aggravain played by Shelby Marsh. She strutted across stage with such aggression and poise. Marsh sped up her lines in a great way, it added to her character but the lines were still understandable. Queen Aggravain is large, aggressive, and authoritative so it only makes sense her husband is the complete opposite. The mute King Sextimus was played by Simon Martin. Although not having lines until the final scene of the show Martin pulled every bit of comedy he could. His over the to p gestures accommodated for the lack of words. Even when the attention wasn't on him he was constantly reacting and adding to his already expressive character.
The castle was depicted by tall stone walls and a second story used mainly like a bridge. The set was large and accommodated for the fifty person cast. Lighting designer Evan Cusato was able to add to the mood of the scenes with his creative lighting. The show started with beautiful silhouettes that really set the royal mood for the rest of the show. Prop master Kendallyn Beltran made sure all props were accurate and realistic.
Los Alamitos High School made the twisted story of the princess and the pea to live. Their dedication to all aspects of their show was obvious. The hard work could really be shown on stage with their happily every after.
by Jeri Beaulac of Irvine
Los Al's "Once Upon A Mattress" tests sensitivity
In a kingdom where the King is a silent, no couple is to be wed until the Prince has found his Princess, and the Queen has total control, order cannot be restored until the "mouse devours the hawk". Connor Franzen portrays the awkward, clumsy, and eager Prince Dauntless. King Sextimus is pantomimed brilliantly and comedically by Simon Martin. His counter, Queen Aggravain, is powerfully embodied by Shelby Marsh.
Princess Winnifred, or 'Fred', brilliantly brought to life by Hasti Baklan is a sight for sore eyes. As soon as Baklan takes the stage she never drops her loud, obnoxious, humorous character, and is dedicated to being 'Fred'. Through many musical moments such as "Shy" and the "Songs of Love", she captivates and enchants with a beautiful and well-controlled voice - but she is not one to hold back. She is an amazing counterpart to her dorky, awkward and innocent husband-to-be Dauntless, otherwise known as Franzen. Franzen perfectly captures Dauntless' clumsy and awkwardness through such actions as flailing his arms when he runs, and 'plopping down' when he sits "crisscross-applesauce". Both characters are awkward, in their own ways, and Baklan and Franzen do a very good job of finding that perfect balance of awkward- not too awkward, but fits the character perfectly.
King Sextimus the mute, pantomimed brilliantly and humorously by Simon Martin, communicates his every thought without a single word. Through jumps, powerful pointing, and hilarious emotional changes in facial expressions, Martin does not need a single word to be understood, and steals the scene even- if he is in the background on the balcony. Queen Aggravain, embodied by Shelby Marsh, lets you know who is in charge. Marsh is not afraid to be loud, and uses powerful hand movements to display her regal air. Her voice, somewhat higher pitched, never drops its obnoxious, motherly, and rude tone - and is absolutely brilliant.
Supporting characters such as the Jester, played by Michael Moseray, the Minstrel, by Tara Virgil, and the Wizard, Cambryelle Getter bring a nice change of mood to the somewhat serious show with their comedic line-deliveries, and relationships between one another.
The simplicity of the set and lighting, all student created, is a nice touch to this complicated production, designed by Los Al Technical Theatre and Evan Cusato, respectively.
Through beautiful comedy and passion, Los Alamitos High School's Production of "Once Upon A Mattress" is a true work of art.
by Bekka Galperin of Pacifica
Los Alamitos' "Once Upon a Mattress" passes the test
With her drenched dress and seaweed hanging around her neck, Princess Winnifred makes an entrance to Queen Aggravain's castle that the kingdom would never forget.
Hasti Bakian stars as Princess Winnifred in Los Alamitos High School's rendition of, "Once Upon a Mattress." Winnifred, or Fred, isn't your typical proper Princess. In the past, Queen Aggravain, played by Shelby Marsh, has tested every last Princess within miles for whether they could marry her son, Prince Dauntless. Sir Henry decides to take things into his own hands, because the kingdom is not allowed to be wed until Dauntless is wed, and sets off over the mountains to look for a Princess for the Prince. Sir Henry searched everywhere he could, and came back with Princess Winifred.
Simon Martin's portrays his mute character, King Sextimus the Silent, to be humourous through exceptional body language. He expresses sarcasm towards his dominant wife through mocking movements. Though some actors stumbled on their lines and the microphones cut out often, the overall character was never broken.
Hesti's wide vocal range, in both song and speech, and her exceptional body language portrays her character as the quirky over the top Princess she is. Her voice gives her character a nice balance between beautiful high notes and belted edgy notes. Prince Dauntless, played by Connor Franzen, was a great contrast to Winnifred in that he has a youthful, skirmish personality.
The attention to detail in regards to the lighting shows how dedicated the lighting designer, Evan Cusato, is despite only having 15 lights. Spotlights create focus on main characters and candlelight supply a dark and mysterious mood to the audience. The large castle set is skillfully made to feel as if the "rocks" that it is composed of it were 3D and real. The castle has dark steel and ebony colors, and in contrast, the bed that the Queen has made had loud coral and lime colors. The makeup is done to suit the characters style, personality and nobility. Noble characters, such as the queen, had more gaudy makeup than that of the Minstrel.
Overall, Los Alamitos rendition of, "Once Upon a Mattress," was exceptionally humorous and left the audience wanting to find their Princess or Prince.
by Taylor Howard of Pacifica
Los Al's Once Upon A Mattress is a royal success
The queen's decree, hindering all of the courts attendees from getting wed until the prince is espoused to a sufficient princess, is in order. However, finding a suitable lass is more difficult than meets the eye, for the Queen is especially particular as to whom her beloved Dauntless marries. So it begins, the search for a genuine princess, and Los Alamitos' production of Once Upon A Mattress.
Playing the bright eyed, unconventional heir to the throne, Hasti Bakian commands the stage with her engaging energy and commitment to her role. Princess Winnifred is anything but the stereotypical dainty princess, and Bakian presents the character's audacious charm with physical comedy and exaggerated facial expressions. She deems her performance unforgettable with not only her powerful belt, but strong character vocal choices.
Alongside Bakian, Connor Franzen (Prince Dauntless) contrasts with Winnifred's awkward masculinity with his naive, mama's-boy squeamishness. Franzen depicts what a mother-son relationship entails with his constant restlessness and anxiety. Both Bakian and Franzen's harmonies give their relationship a pleasant demeanor.
Shelby Marsh rules the stage as Queen Aggravain and demands attention as she stomps around the stage. She projects her nobility with her stiff, obnoxious hand gestures. Marsh is creative with the role, giving her a pretentious yet abhorrent personality. Contrasting her strictness, Simon Martin (King Sextimus the Silent) exudes silliness as he prances around the stage, trying to communicate with his royal subjects. Martin enhances each scene, whether charading his lines or chasing a girl in the background, with his light-hearted comedy and convincing pantomime.
Lighting design by Evan Cusato helps set the tone for each section of the show. Cusato gives a nice, airy feel to the stage during the tender duets, while setting heavy light during Queen Aggravain's powerful, demanding numbers. A white curtain with colored projections tucked behind the sets subtly sets the mood for each scene while giving the sequence it's own persona.
Los Al Tech Theater's sets are simple yet effective. The large, two story piece is able to accommodate many actors, while still filling the stage with only two or three actors. The dynamics of the two levels gives balance to the stage.
Los Alamitos' production of Once Upon A Mattress not only leaves the crowd laughing, but tells the intriguing tale of an otherwise forgotten story.
by Sierra Young of San Juan Hills
Los Alamitos High School Wasn't "Shy" with their "Once Upon A Mattress"
Starring in the show was Princess Winnifred played by Hasti Bakian. From the time she made her stage debut in "Shy" to the very end of the show, the audience was completely mesmerized by her stage presence. Her character choices very strong and well made by Bakian. Her vocal range made Princess Winnifred a powerhouse that never disappointed.
Lighting of the show done by Evan Cusato was minimalistic but never failed to impress. The lighting was the first to set the tone of emotion for the audience. When a critical event would be happening the lighting played a nice part in the background.
The harmonies were incredibly beautiful. Lady Larkin and Sir harry not only had a relationship that kept you invested, but harmonized so magnificently. The entirety of the ensemble had blended together well for each song. "Songs of Love" being a good example, the entire cast had become one voice in support of their favorite princess Winnifred. Even "Spanish Panic" not only represented the voices well but the choreography was made to impress. Much of the choreography made you want to go dance with the cast members.
King Sextimus the Silent broke silence with his performance. For majority of the show the King was a mute therefore he had to use his body language to communicate. His body language was hilarious. Simon Martin played the king he was creative with his dynamic movements. For example in the song "Man to Man Talk" he did not sing a word, Prince Dauntless sang for him. That created a swarm of laughter and enjoyment. It showed how much a person can do without their voice.
The set for the show was magnificent. There was a 50 person cast and it never looked crowded. The castle itself was two levels which made it eye-catching. Props master Kendallyn Beltran has picked some creative props that made the show. For example the birdcage had resembled a harp and went with the music. Even the mattresses made for Princess Winnifred were cartoony and set the tone for the scene.
Each cast member of the show brought something different. With their blocking, stage presence, and truly talented performing techniques. Including the ensemble who were quite realistic.It's if the audience were taking a walk through their town. Overall it was an extraordinary show.
by Sophia Abjuga of San Juan Hills
Once Upon a Mattress
A storyline that delves into the adventurous spirit in us all, Los Alamitos High Schools production of Once Upon a Mattress captivates the audience from begin to end in a whimsical journey. As the show follows the journey of comedic, and heroic, medieval cast, the audience finds itself wanting more after every curtain.
The greatest parts of the show to some was the technical aspects that continually thrilled the audience. Specifically, the lights. The shows lighting continually captivated the audience besides the fact that earlier, the school was having "minor" trouble with the lighting setup. The tonal and shadowed lighting created for the audience the best possible modem for setting the mood for scenes. With these lights, the set also presented an excellent way for the show to become more alone. Besides the minimalism of the set, it was able to add a new level of dimensions to the show. Each individual layer made possible, even in a minute way, the idea that each character could be in or out of a scene.
The actors and actresses in this show as well, we're beyond the expectations of high schoolers. The most prominent of all these actresses is Hasti Bakian. This prominent and figure heading vocalist continually commands the stage at all times. She made a daring entrance which the audience falls in love with and exits making the audience wanting more. Her character Prince Winnifred, is lovable and adorable from start to finish. Shelby Marsh and Simon Martin as Queen Aggrivain and King Sextimus the Silent create the most comedic duo in the show. With the King being mute and the Queen being an overprotective mother, there is no other pair that quite compliments each other in the same way. Prince Dauntless portrayed by Connor Franzen maybe had the greatest comical scene in the show with his father, the King. The musical version on the "birds and bees talk" made the entire audience nearly fall out of their seat.
The show overall is a crowd pleaser from start to finish and creates the best possible level of enjoyment for the audience. With the proper use of the technical aspects of the show and the outstanding acting, dancing, and vocal numbers, this show rouses from beginning to end.
by Dane Madrigal of Tri-School
Los Alamitos' 'Once Upon a Mattress' is magical
Set around a grand balcony, filled with lanterns, cauldrons, and mellifluous voices, Los Alamitos High School's "Once Upon a Mattress" is a beautiful production.
After King Sextimus is cursed to not speak, the terrible Queen Aggravain reigns over the kingdom. Queen Aggravain mandates that no one in the kingdom wed until her son, Prince Dauntless, marries and devises difficult tests for the princesses in order to keep Prince Dauntless single. The rule troubles Lady Larken and Sir Harry, who are expecting a child, and they work throughout the musical to help Princess Winnifred pass the test.
Hasti Bakian plays the unconventional Princess Winnifred. She portrays Princess Winnifred's quirky personality by crouching down, spreading her legs apart as she is seated, and smirking. Bakian sings with a booming voice and stresses certain notes to make Winnifred's bold personality come alive. Christian D'Alessandro plays the naïve Prince Dauntless. He balances Princess Winnifred's confidence with his wide eyes and shy grin.
Shelby Marsh plays the cunning Queen Aggravian. Marsh enlivens the Queen's haughty persona by rambling on in a drawn out, high-pitched British accent, standing with elegant posture, and stiffly moving her body.
Simon Martin plays the hilarious King Sextimus the Silent. Without a speaking role, Martin clearly conveys the King's thoughts through his pantomiming. In "Man to Man Talk," Martin effectively shows the King's message with his whimsical dancing and hand gestures.
The elaborate medieval set includes silver shields, a balcony, and an enormous bed that is made up of multiple mattresses. The stage is filled with subtle details such as cauldrons and small lanterns to transform the set. The lighting, designed by Evan Cusato, is simple, but effective in creating a mystical environment.
"Once Upon a Mattress" is an incredible production that combines the many talents of the large crew.
by Elizabeth Neoman of Tri-School
Los Al Drama Director