When directors Angie and Paul Lowe were deciding on their upcoming musical production, the choice was clear, "Once Upon a Mattress" was an absolute match for their theater.
"We chose this show because it has so many great lead roles, and there is a part for everyone to showcase their talent," Angie said.
The L'arc en Ciel Theatre Group at Great Oaks in Cedar Lake presents their young cast in the hit musical "Once Upon a Mattress," a story based on the fairytale "The Princess and the Pea." The musical runs two weekends, 8 p.m. today, 2 p.m. Sunday, and at 7 p.m. Friday, June 27 and a special dinner show at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, June 29 followed by the 2 p.m. performance.
"Once Upon a Mattress" is a story about the cursed mute King Sextimus and his wife Queen Aggravain who reigns terror over their kingdom. She forbids anyone to marry before her son Prince Dauntless does. Only the princess who can pass Queen Aggravain's test can marry her son.
"Once Upon a Mattress" stars St. John residents Austin Traina as Prince Dauntless, Elise Bereolos as Queen Aggravain, Jackson DeLisle as King Sextimus, Hannah Souronis as Princess Winnifred, Aaron Cappello as Court Jester and Sammy Bredar and Brett Balicki as Lady Larken and Sir Harry. Brandon Kratkoczki, of St. John, and Koty Bakker, o f Cedar Lake, star as the Minstrels. Zach Hansen, of Schererville, plays the Wizard.
After producing this play twice before, Angie and Paul are reviving it for a third time with a fresh approach. Unlike past productions, which were performed at Lake Central High School and with an all high school cast, this year, it's a performance in a more intimate venue and a more elaborate set. The cast includes both high school and middle school kids.
"It's incredible that the kids can put on this huge show in such a small space because we are literally performing in what used to be a swimming pool," said Angie, who along with husband Paul, has dedicated her life to working with children in theater.
"But through donations, we have created something magnificent."
Angie and Paul are currently in their 48th year of working in theater, and their 10th year working at Great Oaks.
"We are most proud of our LCTG kids, because we have watched them grow in the last five or six years, and they work so hard between maintaining good grades, performing in school plays, and working on our LCTG productions,"Angie said.
"They are passionate about what they do, and we are blessed to have them."
LCTG is a non-profit organization that operates based on donations and ticket-sales. They put on these shows through the help and generosity of their students, parents, Great Oaks management, and the countless musicians, technicians, and the community that supports and donates not only money, but also their services and time.
"We have a great group of musicians that donate their time, and our techs are former Lake Central students," Angie said.
"Everyone is involved and we are truly blessed. L'arc en Ciel means 'rainbow' and we're like a rainbow. We are a group of people from all walks of life who come together to make something beautiful."
L'arc en Ciel will also be featuring an upcoming performance in July of their original production "LOL…Little Old Ladies 3rd Time's a Charm." It will star both the adult actors of the original LOL plays, along with a few of the teens from "Once Upon A Mattress."
FYI: L'arc en Ciel at Great Oaks is located at 13109 Wicker Ave,. Cedar Lake. Tickets for the first three shows are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $16 for students and do not include dinner. Tickets for the June 29 dinner/performance will be $32 for adults, $30 for seniors, and $25 for kids 12 and younger. Cash bar is also available. For tickets call: (219) 374-8000, (219) 365-3197, or for more information visit their website at lctg.org/.