If you want to escape the real world for a while, consider a trip to fairy tale land. Tupelo High School has your ticket ready. The destination is "Once Upon a Mattress," a souped-up, musical version of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Princess and the Pea."
"It's narrated by the minstrel who sets the scene at the beginning," said Debby Gibbs, director. "He says there was a lot of truth in the story of 'The Princess and the Pea,' but his is the real story because he was there."
We'll travel to a castle, where the overbearing Queen Aggravain rules the kingdom. No one's allowed to marry until her son, Dauntless, gets hitched. Twelve potential princesses have failed the Queen's test, so there's not much hope for No. 13.
"You really get the idea she doesn't want him to get married," Gibbs said. "He's her little boy."
And he's not the brightest bulb in the box, according to Ben Forrest, 17, who plays Dauntless.
"I'm really dumb. My mom speaks for me," Forrest said. "I talk like a 6-year-old. I act like a 6-year-old."
Lizzie Brevard, 17, is Queen Aggravain, who's well-versed in the arts of deception and control, but the days of Aggravain getting her way could be on the wane.
"It's probably one of the cutest shows I've ever seen," Brevard said. "Everyone can find fun in it, a little giggle here, a little chuckle there."
Maybe princess No. 13, Winnifred the Woebegone, can help Dauntless discover his way to happily ever after. Expect a fun, musical ride.
"It's got a lot of slapstick comedy. There's a jester and a wizard and guys like that," Gibbs said. "There are cheesy love songs, too. Like we said, a fairy tale."
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal .com.