It looks like Carol Burnett will be climbing on the Mattress one more time; that is, the Emmy-winning actress will once again return to the musical that she starred in on Broadway in 1959 and on television in 1964 (in black and-white) and in 1972 (in color).
Burnett, who was last on The Great White Way in the Stephen Sondheim revue Putting It Together, will not — according to an item in USA Today — play the lead role of Princess Winnifred but the smaller part of the conniving Queen Agravain. CBS, which presented the award-winning "Carol Burnett Show," will produce the television special for broadcast next season.
"Mattress always has been a wonderful show to do," Burnett commented to the daily paper. "And so many people know it because they did it in school or in community theatre."
Once Upon a Mattress, which is essentially the fable of "The Princess and the Pea" set to music, marked Burnett's Broadway debut, and her role as the comical Winnifred became one of Burnett's signature roles. Featuring a score by Mary Rodgers (music) and Marshall Barer (lyrics) and a book by Barer, Jay Thompson and Dean Fuller, the original Broadway company also included Jack Gilford, Joe Bova and Jane White. The 1996 Broadway revival featured Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker in the role created by Burnett with co-stars David Aaron Baker, Jane Krakowski and Mary Lou Rosato.
Burnett has been seen on the Broadway stage in Once Upon a Mattress, Fade Out — Fade In, Moon Over Buffalo and Putting It Together. She spent 11 years on "The Carol Burnett Show" and has amassed six Emmy Awards for her work on that program and several other TV appearances. Burnett's feature film credits include "Pete 'N' Tillie," "The Four Seasons," "Annie" and "A Wedding." A production of Hollywood Arms, the play that she co-wrote with her late daughter Carrie Hamilton, begins performances at Chicago's Goodman Theatre April 19. —By Andrew Gans