PAGEANT at Willows Cabaret in Martinez
PAGEANT: The Beauty Pageant Musical Satire. Book & lyrics Bill Russell & Frank Kelley. Music by Albert Evans. Conceived by Robert Longbottom. Directed and choreographed by Steven Edlund. Willows Cabaret at the Campbell Theatre,
The Willows Theatre Company’s Cabaret venue has set an ambitious course for its 2009 season. Pageant is the third offering this year and from the reaction of Friday’s opening night crowd it should have a favorable run. However, as with any musical show that relies on canned music integrated with live singing, glitches do occur. So it was on opening night but a brief conversation with Randy Nazarian who plays the integral part of the Master of Ceremonies there is reassurance of an error free run.
Pageant is a satiric takeoff on
As with the real Beauty Contests, the participants are performing on TV. Frankie (Randy Nazarian) is the MC. The seven contestants have all won preliminary competitions and are now in the finals. They are (alphabetically) Miss Great Plains (Anthony W. Jackson) winner as Miss Iced Tea at the Iowa State Fair; Miss Industrial North West (Sean Patrick Murtaugh), a big girl who is studying hair dressing by e-mail (don’t ask); Miss Bible Belt (Daniel Ross Noble) who spreads the Gospel through telemarketing; Miss West Coast (Matt Petromilli); Miss Texas (Ricardo Rust) who works with the beauty impaired; and Miss Deep South (Ben Wetzel).
In the opening scenes the girls are engaged in an evening dress competition with the music extolling “You’ve Got It All.” Then there is the talent competition. Highlights start with a show stopping, hoedown stomping song and dance by Miss
Between the various scenes the contestants perform the proverbial necessary ads that are side splitting in their improbability. They are a justifiable parody of intrusive TV commercials.
You are not going to believe the swimsuit competition. With the exception of Miss Industrial North, all the “girls” have beautiful bodies that perform athletically in the Physical Fitness segment. All dressed in colorful sweats, they do hand stands, cartwheels and somersaults to the audience’s delight.
Randy Nazarian who is a smash hit as Sancho Panza in the Mountain Play’s Man of La Mancha does not yet have this show under his belt but with his professionalism it will just a matter of time before he takes control of the shenanigans of this delightful Pageant. The cabaret theatre has tiered seats all with unobstructed views and complete bar service before and during the show and if you are lucky you may be chosen as a judge to select the winner. On opening night Miss
Running time less than 2 hours with intermission.
Kedar K. Adour, MD
Courtesy of www.TheatreWorldInternetMagazine.com