"Once Upon A Mattress"
Speaking of which, the 2005 version of "Mattress" that aired last night on ABC, was a big Disney disappointment. The cast did their best (Zooey Deschanel was just miscast) but the director, although accomplished on Broadway, had no idea how to make the piece funny or charming.
Carol Burnett, so wonderfully Grand Guignol as the dastardly Miss Hannigan in the film version of "Annie," looked hilarious in big Bob Mackie costumes but was directed to be so subdued that it killed all the humor of her role, or most of it. Tommy Smothers, as the silent king Sextimus, was also misdirected -- especially in the final moment of the show during the reversal of the curse. In the show he's a devoted skirt-chaser and clown; in this version, just a pleasant, mild-mannered mute. Not funny, and what a waste of the great Smothers!
Other important secondary roles were cut to bits, and Tracy Ullman, doing her frenetic best to make Winnifred the Woebegon into a loveable madcap heroine, was just okay.
The evening was not at all a waste, though, as I got to sit up with one of my oldest and best pals in the world and wrap Christmas and Hanukah gifts. That was very much fun, and hard to believe, since it seems only yesterday that we were buying each other Lip Smackers and starter stud earrings for Christmas.