Drag Pageant Gets Glamorous Revival

Boys will be girls Off-Broadway in a musical comedy about beauty pageant contestants. But do they have charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent?

BY Brandon Voss

June 01 2014 11:20 AM ET

The cast of Pageant

After a sold-out five-show run in February to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Pageant is primping to return this summer for a limited Off-Broadway engagement. The musical comedy, which features men dressed as female beauty pageant contestants, begins previews June 29 and officially opens July 14 at the Davenport Theatre.

"Like every beauty pageant you've seen before, Pageant features contestants desperately vying for a glittering tiara," read press notes for the production. "With swimsuit, talent, and evening gown competitions — the show includes both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat! Unlike some beauty pageants you've seen before, the female contestants are all played by men. And the audience gets to select the winner each night. Filled with excitement and suspense, but first and foremost, beauty. Let the beauty begin!"

Conceived by Robert Longbottom and written by Albert Evans, Frank Kelly, and Bill Russell, Pageant originally debuted Off-Broadway in 1991. Matt Lenz directs the revival with choreography by Shea Sullivan, music direction by Mark Hartman, and costumes by Stephen Yearick. The lovely cast includes Nick Cearley of The Skivvies, Frankie J. Grande (Mamma Mia!), Alex Ringler (West Side Story), Marty Thomas (Xanadu), Seth Tucker (Our Kiki), and Curtis Wiley (Motown: The Musical). Additional casting will be announced soon.

Pageant is scheduled to play Sunday and Monday evenings through September 1, sharing the Davenport stage with current tenant Forbidden Broadway: Comes Out Swinging!

For tickets and information visit pageantmusical.com.

Tags: Theater

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