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Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Co. to open 'Once Upon a Mattress' Friday, Sept. 24, with COVID precautions

It is said that "faint heart never won fair lady," but in Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Co.'s upcoming production of "Once Upon a Mattress," it is the fair lady that is put to the test.

Opening at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, in the Boring-Damascus Grange Hall, 27861 Grange St., the show centers around Princess Winnifred's quest to prove herself as royalty and win the hand of Prince Dauntless the Drab.

A cast of 23 local thespians have conspired as a COVID cohort to play out the humorous and, at times, ridiculous antics of Queen Aggravain's court for a masked and socially distanced audience.

While the precautions taken will be plenty, theater company co-founder Kelly Lazenby, playing Queen Aggravain herself, has assured that the entertainment quality will be well worth the circumstances.

"We consider 'Once Upon a Mattress' more of a comedy set to music," Lazenby explained. "It's a good family show."

Renowned actor Tobias Andersen will co-direct with Nutz-n-Boltz co-founder Justin Lazenby and, as Andersen explained: "(This is) live theater, and you cannot get it on the internet."

"'Mattress' is one of the musicals that's always a joy, (and) such fun to do," said Andersen, who has acted in the show himself twice before. "Based on the old fairy tale, the 'Princess and the Pea,' it's what we call a 'well-made' play, musical — it really never fails. It's always great fun. If (anyone) wants to be a hero to some grandson or granddaughter, niece or nephew, then (then they should) bring them to see this classic musical — the one that made Carol Burnett a star."

"Once Upon a Mattress" will serve as the theater's first full production since the pandemic began last spring, amplifying the excitement among the cast for opening night.

For much of last year, the company stuck to stage readings with limited casts and audiences out of precaution for public health.

"Everyone is in good spirits," Lazenby said. "It feels exciting. If the one thing we can do to help right now is make people smile, we'll do it."COURTESY PHOTO: NUTZ-N-BOLTZ THEATER CO. - Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Co. will open Once Upon a Mattress Friday, Sept. 24, with COVID precautions.

That said, there will still be COVID-related precautions — mandated and otherwise. Patrons are to sit only with people in their party and remain masked when not eating and drinking. Groups of seats will be distanced from each other, and concessions will consist of only pre-packaged food items. Temperatures will also be taken at the door.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children and senior citizens. Law enforcement personnel will be admitted for $10.

The production will run from Friday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 17, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and a 3 p.m. matinee on Sundays.

"It's a completely separate world than the one we're living in right now," Lazenby said. "It's a funny fairytale. Everyone is happy and singing, and I think that's what people need right now."

For more information about Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Co. or purchase tickets online (nnbtheater.com).


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