While this classic children's story has all the elements of a fairy tale, the stage musical and its three TV versions are more adult in nature, like a "Fractured Fairy tales" expanded and nearly as twisted as a "Family Guy" episode, although not nearly as blue. There's insinuations of unwed motherhood, a mother seemingly in love with her son (obviously having a sordid affair with an overly loyal guard), and a rather creepy jester who comments on all the action. Through the magic of it's Broadway originator Carol Burnett, Princess Winifred (aka Fred) comes alive, swimming the moat to find love with future TV brother Ken Berry.
This colorful revival of the 1964 TV special is made with an early 70's "mod" theme, utilizing Jane White and Jack Gilford as the nagging queen and her mute husband once again from the original cast. Old pal Bernadette Peters joins Carol as expectant single mom Lady Larkin, with Broadway veteran Ron Husman as her shocked Beau. Cut down to a respectable 90 minutes, this special is the type of entertainment that veteran TV audiences expected in the 1960's and '70s but rarely get now. Burnett plays every laugh for all it's worth, wearing comically garish Bob Mackie gowns, adding even more spark to the classic Mary Rogers score. If this ever becomes commercially available, don't be "shy" and take advantage of the pleasure it has given countless others in times gone by.
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