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Once Upon A Mattress (1959 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording, Extra tracks

4.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, Extra tracks, April 13, 1993
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Based on Hans Christian Andersen's tale The Princess and the Pea, Once Upon a Mattress opened in May 1959 and was a solid success, if not a huge blockbuster. It did well enough, in any case, to warrant a 1997 revival starring Sarah Jessica Parker. The show was far from revolutionary, but it provided a really fun vehicle for a cast of top stage personalities, including black actress Jane White, who played Queen Aggravain (a part originally written for comedienne Nancy Walker) in whiteface. But of course, Once Upon a Mattress's heart and soul was Carol Burnett, who, in her Broadway debut created the part of Princess Winnifred and delivered two of Mary Rodgers's best songs, the hilarious "Shy" and the spunky "Happily Ever After," which sounds a bit like Jule Styne at his most rhythmic. Burnett's timing and performance remain as sharp as they were 40 years ago. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording, Extra tracks
  • Label: MCA Classics
  • ASIN: B000002ONH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,015 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
ONCE UPON A MATTRESS is the classic Broadway musical version of the fairytale "The Princess and the Pea" and features music by Mary Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer.
The story concerns Princess Winnifred (played by the legendary Carol Burnett in her first Broadway leading-role), a princess who is given the ultimate test; to sleep on twenty mattresses and be sensitive enough to feel the tiny pea that lies underneath them. Prince Dauntless and his mother, the Queen Aggravain (played in whiteface by Jane White) eagerly await the result...
The score is perfectly performed here (forget the Broadway revival recording which features Sarah Jessica Parker, completely out of her depth as Winnifred), and is regarded as the best recording available. Stand-out songs include "Shy", "The Song of Love", "Sensivity", "Happily Ever After" and "Yesterday I Loved You".
Even in this earliest of performances, Carol Burnett shows her incredible Broadway belt, and sings her songs with impressive comic timing and verve. She later played the role in two live television versions (one in black and white, the other in color).
Highly-recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the first musicals to usher in the era of slightly off-beat, quirky, grown-up fairy tales we came to expect from Sondhiem (Into the Woods) and Stephen Schwartz (Pippin); "Once Upon a Mattress" is absolutely perfect from beginning to end.
I played Lady Larken with a semi-professional production and fell in love with the music and the humor of the piece. It pokes fun at the very conventions associated with musical theater, right from the big opening number "Opening for a Princess" (which has slightly medieval chord progressions, but a definate Big Band swing!) to the hilarious "Man to Man Talk", which explains the facts of life as mimed by the King and sung by his slightly under-educated grown-up son.
All the conventional Broadway ballads are assigned to the romantic couple Larken and Harry, who are caricatures of the gullible damsel-in-distress and the stuffed-shirt stage hero, respectively. Larken is slightly less than a traditional damsel, as she is pregnant with Harry's baby (although he gallantly admits that they should not both suffer all their lives because *she* had a "moment of weakness"!).
Only Carol Burnett could endow Winnifred with just the right combination of honesty, goofiness and charm. Watch out for her biggest and funniest number: "Shy".
Other great songs are "Normandy", "Yesterday I Loved You", "Swamps of Home" and "Song of Love".
The revival album is good too, but Sarah Jessica Parker is simply an inferior Winnifred. This is one of those must-have Broadway albums... pretty much every song is funny and/or gorgeous. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Carol Burnett's big break on broadway! Anyone who is a Carol fan probably has this recording already. If not, it's worth it just for "The Swamps of Home", with Carol singing 'gluggle-uggle-uggle'.

The orchestral arrangements hearken back to a simpler day, when everything wasn't blaring trumpets and screaming electronics. Be aware that the production value also hearkens back, so you will not be using this CD to test your new speakers.

However, this show reflects the joy of Broadway of old, and the performances within do the genre justice. Join Carol for her Tour-de-force, old school.
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Format: Audio CD
Once Upon a Mattress was one of the first Broadway shows that I ever saw and I was totally mesmorized and laughed so hard that my side hurt. Carol Burnett was the perfect person to play Fred and it was one of those magical performances that stays with you for a lifetime. The original cast album captures the fun and spirit of the show.

Later during the run of the show a friend of mine joined the chorus and when we talked about the experience, he told me that the joy that was on stage was similar to that felt by the cast and that was apparent on the album. They especially liked working with Ms. Burnett as she was a giving and caring actress.

I recommend this album to anyone who wants to spend some time just feeling good.
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Format: Audio CD
"Once Upon A Mattress" is a marvelous showcase for Carol Burnett's incredible talent. Only someone with both her wonderful gift for comedy and her great voice could have sung the comic torch song "Happily Every After."
Carol Burnett later reprised her role as Winifred the Woebegone on two T.V. productions - one in black and another in color. Both of these productions can be seen at the Museum Of Broadcasting in New York City. But until some network executive has mercy on us and releases these versions on video, we'll have to make do with this excellent C.D.
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By andydrumm on January 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My school did this musical last year (Spring 2005) and I had never heard of it before, so I bought both the Revial and the Original Cast Recordings. Fell in love. I was Sir Harry and loved both songs that I sang in. In my opinion, those are the two best songs in the entire musical, but then again, I'm biased.

Once Upon A Mattress OCR is by far the best out there. Don't get me wrong, the Revival Cast did a wonderful job (soundtrack at least) But There is something about Carol Burnett. She was meant to sing be Fred. But one thing that I didn't like is that "The Minstrel, the Jester & I" wasn't in this recording. But that is really the only problem I had with this.

My fav songs include:

In a Little While (because I sang it)

Yesterday I Loved You (again, I sang it)

Many Moons Ago

Shy

Would I recomend this CD? YES I WOULD!! I would shout it from the rooftops that people should by this CD! It's a funny, quaint little musical that people need to know about. I LOVE IT!
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Topic From this Discussion
I want a DVD of the show, not just the soundtrack.
Are there any dvds available of the original 1959 musical? I saw the original cast tv version as a child and thought the comic timing was unbeatable. I find the 2005 dvd version a little heavy- handed, and would love to have a dvd of the original cast.
Sep 7, 2013 by sharon ann saunders |  See all 2 posts
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Once Upon A Mattress (1959 Original Broadway Cast)
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