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Review: Lovely ladies bring the laughs in PAGEANT

Just when you thought it was past beauty pageant season, the Cygnet Theatre brings us the Miss Glamouresse contest in their production of PAGEANT. This sparkly and revival is fun send up of all those ideals of feminitity, beauty, and the scholarship contests that are beauty pageants.

Everybody loves a kick line.... Max Cadillac, Conor Tibbs, Ryan Fahey, Phil Johnson, David McBean, Luke Harvey Jacobs, Charles Osborne Photo by Daren Scott
They feel pretty….
Max Cadillac, Conor Tibbs, Ryan Fahey, Phil Johnson, David McBean, Luke Harvey Jacobs, Charles Osborne
Photo by Daren Scott

The Miss Glamouresse contest is the pinnacle of beauty pageants and the categories that these girls compete run from the familiar like evening gown and bathing suit competitions, to the rarely seen category of “beauty crisis counseling to judge how suited they are to help the cosmetically challenged. The six lovely ladies – all played by men who croon winking lyrics that they all “have something extra” – run the gamut from Miss West Coast (Luke Harvey Jacobs), a dippy blond who is startled every time a sound comes from the speakers and does interpretive dance about her multiple past lives, Miss Deep South (the always amazing David Mcbean) a genteel lady who only wants all ladies to look beautiful so the men who run the world have something nice to look at, to Miss Bible Belt (Ryan Fahey) who manages to work a cross into everything and has a show stopping gospel number called ‘Banking on Jesus.”

The plot is just the pageant itself, so what you see with the contestants is what you get. Luckily, what you get is highly entertaining. Miss Texas (Charles Osborne) is a pistol packing tap dancer, Miss Great Plains (Conor Tibbs) is a sweet soul who cares about the earth and her favorite color is “beige”, and Miss Industrial Northeast (max Cadillac) is a feisty Latina who studies hair styling by mail. This crew is led by their over excitable D-list celebrity announcer Frankie Cavalier (Phil Johnson) who thinks everything that happens on that stage is the most amazing thing he has ever seen.

The costumes are lovely and flattering, with special shout outs to all the people that helped pull those costumes together. The wigs were beautiful and the speed with which they changed them was impressive.

Directed by James Vasquez, the show is a sweet and frothy send up of all things ridiculous in pop culture from Ru Pauls Drag Race – which is it’s own send up of beauty pageants – to ridiculous cosmetic inventions. If you want a fun and entertaining night at the theatre this is a show you don’t want to miss.

But as they say, “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” – this is especially true in this case as there is a different, audience voted winner for each show. For those wondering, while I love the cast, my votes will always go to Miss Bible Belt. So hold on tight to that tiara ladies, you may not get it again tomorrow!

If you think you have what it takes to be a judge, or just to see what hilarity these beauty queens bring, see PAGEANT before the chance for the crown is gone forever on August 31st.

For show times and ticket information for to

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