An all-star cast brings the classic fairy tale THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA to life in this outrageously funny adaptation of the aclaimed Broadway musical. Queen Aggravain (Carol Burnett) sabotages the efforts of every young princess who hopes to marry her son, Prince Dauntless (Denis O'Hare) -- and no one else can settle down until he does! Honorable Sir Harry is determined to marry the lovely Lady Larken (Zooey Deschanel), so he sets off for faraway lands and returns with an unlikely candidate: Princess Winnifred from the swamps (Tracey Ullman). It's love at first sight for the Prince, so the Queen sets about planning her most difficult challenge yet. The palace is filled with merriment and mischief while everyone wonders, will Princess "Fred" pass the Queen's test?
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The playful 2004 television version of Once Upon a Mattress brings everything full circle for Carol Burnett, who played klutzy Princess Winnifred, would-be fiancee of royal mama's boy Prince Dauntless, in the original 1959 Broadway cast production of the musical (as well as 1964 and 1972 television adaptations). In the new show, Burnett now essays the role of Dauntless's control-freak mom, Queen Aggravain, and is very funny in the part. An Oedipal nightmare, Aggravain is in no hurry to let the prince act his adult age, chasing off prospective wives (and queens-in-training) by putting them through unbeatable tests. Along comes Winnifred (Tracey Ullman, who manages the physically demanding role quite nicely), who turns the kingdom on its head with her goofy charm, sets Dauntless's heart aflame, and poses a serious threat to Aggravain's plans. The fun supporting cast in this tuneful take on "The Princess and the Pea" includes Tom Smothers as King Sextimus, the mute monarch who manages to impart wisdom, Zooey Deschanel as pregnant Lady Larken, who helps bring Winnifred to the castle, and Denis O'Hare (21 Grams) as the boyish Dauntless. --Tom Keogh
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