Sunday, September 14, 2014

Calling ALL Beauty QUEENS: A Tale of Two Pageants!

My friends at the Off-Broadway musical PAGEANT are having a very special performance TONIGHT. As I’m sure you’re all aware, “Miss America” airs tonight, where PAGEANT’s very own choreographer Shea Sullivan and costume designer extraordinaire Stephen Yearick are represented by SEVERAL girls down in Atlantic City preparing for the big night even as I write this!
In honor of the evening, PAGEANT is hosting its own audience competition right after the show.
Do YOU have what it takes to be crowned “Miss Audience Glamouresse”? You have to enter to find out! Here’s how:
- Come to the box office in your finest Pageant attire (or at least a sash, or tiara) starting two hours before curtain (5:30PM-7:30PM)
- Use my secret code “SKIPPER” to get HALF-PRICE TICKETS and a FREE DRINK coupon (more on that below!)
- Have a wonderful, hilarious time watching the show. I saw it two weeks ago and you never know who will be the winner – the suspense is real…and so much fun!
- Afterward, the five best (or most imaginatively) dressed audience participants will be chosen as finalists – so check all the sequins on your evening gowns, my lovelies!
- Our finalists will then strut the aisle and be asked a very probing question by our Host, Frankie Cavalier (played by the always wonderful John Bolton).
- The audience and cast will select the winner!

If you are crowned “Miss Audience Glamouresse” you’ll receive the ultimate prize package of: 
- A Limited-Edition Pageant Tiara
- A photo with the cast
- A certificate good for a dozen delicious Schmackary's Cookies

- One pair of full-fashioned hosiery
- A signed show poster!
You’ll also be invited with the rest of the audience, cast, and crew, to join us at Boxers HK for your free drink (be sure you have your coupon and your ticket stub) and to watch the LIVE Miss America telecast.
P.S. The show asked that I include this obligatory legal-schmeagle stuff:  This offer is applicable to the September 14th performance only.
Half-price tickets are subject to availability and are available only at the box office starting 2 hours before the show (5:30pm-7:30pm) and you must be dressed in some kind of pageant attire – evening gowns preferred but a tiara or sash qualifies.
Free drink coupon is valid at Boxers HK the night of the show only and must be presented at the venue with
Watch ABC tonight starting at 8 pm ET (7 pm CT) to find out who will be crowned Miss America 2015!
your ticket stub. A $1.75 theatre facility fee is included in the price of the ticket. Offer may be revoked at any time. And (my favorite one): be sure to use code SKIPPER!

 “No funny bones are spared!  
Pageant is pure entertainment …  A comedic romp!” - Metro New York

A few weeks ago, I was invited to see Pageant at the newly formed Ken Davenport Theatre.
“Outrageous, groundbreaking and thigh-slappingly hilarious!” - Rex Reed, NY Observer

It seems like it was just yesterday when Pageant last played New York. It was actually 1991!
John Bolton and the cast of Pageant: The Musical

Today, in honor of Miss America tonight and in anticipation of my interview tomorrow afternoon with emcee John Bolton, I celebrate Pageant: The Musical!

The Countdown to Miss America tonight, hosted by "Good Morning America's" Amy Robach, will cover every aspect of this year's 2015 Miss America Competition. From the exciting preliminary competitions to the dazzling finale on Sunday night, the countdown will offer behind the scenes footage of the 53 national contestants, vying for the 2015 Miss America crown.
Miss Oklahoma, Alex Eppler, working out in Pageant swag!
"Countdown to Miss America" will also show historical footage and information from the Miss America Organization as it celebrates its 94th year. The historical portion of this segment includes footage from nine decades of the organization's scholarships, service, style and success. This special edition airing before the final 2015 Miss America Competition will introduce viewers to more than 30 former Miss Americas, including Lee Meriwether, who was the first Miss America to be crowned on live television in 1955.

Throughout the evening, the preliminary host, Dena Blizzard, who is a former Miss New Jersey, will share live updates to viewers from Boardwalk Hall. For the first time on live television, the coveted Miss Congeniality award will be announced.From the exciting preliminary competitions to the dazzling finale on Sunday night, the countdown will offer behind the scenes footage of the 53 national contestants, vying for the 2015 Miss America crown.
NinaDavuluri, Miss America 2014.
Countdown to Miss America will also show historical footage and information from the Miss America Organization as it celebrates its 94th year. The historical portion of this segment includes footage from nine decades of the organization's scholarships, service, style and success.
This special edition airing before the final 2015 Miss America Competition will introduce viewers to more than 30 former Miss Americas, including Lee Meriwether, who was the first Miss America to be crowned on live television in 1955.
Throughout the evening, the preliminary host, Dena Blizzard, who is a former Miss New Jersey, will share live updates to viewers from Boardwalk Hall. For the first time on live television, the coveted Miss Congeniality award will be announced.
Returning to host the final 2015 Miss America Competition are Chris Harrison, host of "The Bachelor", and Lara Spencer from Good Morning America.
Returning to host the final 2015 Miss America Competition are Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, and Lara Spencer from “Good Morning America”. Working alongside the esteemed hosts is the illustrious judges panel that includes: television producer and writer Marc Cherry; Super Bowl Champion and former Green Bay Packer Donald Driver; CEO and designer Kathy Ireland; U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson; West Point graduate and senior Army aviator General Anne Macdonald; Former Miss America and actress Lee Meriwether, and CEO and author Gary Vaynerchuk. (Source Official Miss America Website)
Lee Meriwether

Countdown to Miss America airs tonight, Sunday, September 14 at 8PM. This special leads up to the 2015 Miss America Competition at 9PM on ABC. You will not want to miss the most dazzling event of the year! 
Nina Davuluri made history last year as the first Indian American to win the Miss America pageant. Born in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of Indian immigrants, Davuluri beat out 52 contestants for the 2014 title with a Bollywood-inspired dance performance and a platform of "Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency." Though her win was marred with an online barrage of racist tweets and social comments -- questioning Davuluri's American identity and incorrectly calling her Arab and Muslim -- the 24-year-old met her first challenge wearing the crown with grace and aplomb, rising above fray and focusing on her year ahead.
When I was a kid, our family used to watch Miss America every year. I have to admit that I lost interest after Bert Parks was no longer involved. I realize that I just dated myself! Although the world has changed considerably over the past twenty five to thirty years, pageants still fascinate.

For more information, visit Join the #MissAmericaconversation on social media at, Twitter @MissAmerica and@MissAmericaOrg, Instagram missamericaorg, and

Wishing all the best to the ladies of MISS AMERICA tonight from the gals of MISS GLAMOURESSE! Your beauty inspires us.

Special shout-outs to our Pageant: The Musical visitors Alex Eppler (Miss Oklahoma), Acacia Courtney (Miss Connecticut), Amanda Smith (Miss Pennsylvania), Victoria Cowen (Miss Florida) and Kira Kazantsev (Miss New York), as well as Choreography by Shea Sullivan and her associate Dmitri Kumolovaya.

I, unfortunately, did not see Pageant: The Musical the first time around. .Therefore, even though I was "familiar" with the show, I truly had no frame of reference to go upon.
The show is now scheduled to run through October 16th. Do NOT miss this show!
Like no beauty pageant you've seen before, six contestants vying for the title of Miss Glamouresse compete in swimsuit, talent, gown, and spokesmodel categories. This silly, fun musical is Miss America meets The Birdcage and Kinky Boots. You even get to pick the winner! Who will it be?Unlike some beauty pageants you've seen before, the female contestants are all played by men. To add to the fun, members of the audience get to select the winner each night!
Filled with excitement and suspense, but first and foremost, beauty … let the beauty begin! 

Pageants are universal! Check out this interview with the lovely Miss Charlotte Holmes!
Miss England, Charlotte Holmes
You wouldn't want to miss out on her fab pageant advice!

PAGEANT debuted Off-Broadway in 1991 at the Blue Angel in New York where it ran for more than a year before playing successful engagements on the West End and around the world. Pageant was last seen this February in a sold-out five-show special engagement that benefitted Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS at the Red Lacquer Club, which was the first time it had returned to the New York stage in more than twenty years.

Want a cast recording of Pageant: The Musical? We need your help! CONTRIBUTE here and PRE-ORDER.
Joan Rivers with members of the ORIGINAL cast

Meet The Cast!

JOHN BOLTON (Frankie Cavalier) received critical acclaim starring on Broadway as The Old Man in A Christmas Story: The Musical.  For his performance he received a Footlight Award, a Drama Desk nomination, and was named to several publications’ Top Ten lists.  He originated the role of Daryl Grady in Broadway’s Curtains, and was in the original Broadway casts of Spamalot, Contact and Titanic, all three of which won the Tony for Best Musical.  He made his Broadway debut alongside Jerry Lewis in Damn Yankees and starred as Finch during Matthew Broderick’s leave of absence in How to Succeed…  He has worked extensively Off-Broadway and as a cabaret performer.  He recently made his Carnegie Hall debut in the all-star Guys and Dolls In Concert.  

Other New York concert appearances include Chess with Josh Groban and Chance and Chemistry with Sir Paul McCartney. He has performed as soloist with The New York Philharmonic and with symphonies across the country.  Mr. Bolton recently headlined productions of Clybourne Park, Same Time Next Year, Young Frankenstein and The Music Man and just completed the role of Frank in San Francisco Opera’s Show Boat, filmed for PBS.  Mr. Bolton’s television work includes four seasons as Bruce Caplan
on Gossip Girl, guest-starring roles on “Boardwalk Empire”, “The Good Wife”, “Law and Order”, and “Ed” and recurring roles on “All My Children” and “As the World Turns”.  He is a producer/writer of the viral video “Russian Broadway Shutdown” and is a frequent host of theatre-related events all across the city.  Follow him on Twitter
JohnBolton and his ladies send a special message to some of the Miss America contestants! 

Nick Cearley
NICK CEARLEY (Miss Great Plains) is ½ of the "Undie"-Rock Comedy Duo known as The Skivvies with Lauren Molina which has been most recently critically acclaimed by People Magazine, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Broadway 1st National: All Shook Up. Regional: Brad in The Rocky Horror Show, Henry in Next to Normal (League of Cincinnati Theatre Award for Acting Excellence), …And Then I Wrote a Song About It (Best Lead Actor in a Musical/ The Star Ledger, NJ), ...Spelling Bee, ...Trailer Park Musical, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bay Street Theatre, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Bucks County Playhouse, Luna Stage, Diversionary Theatre, Rubicon Theatre, American Stage Theatre Company. Twitter: @clearlycearley and @theskivviesnyc 

NIC CORY (Miss Industrial North East) is thrilled to be joining these queens! Off-Broadway: Signs of Life, The Boys Upstairs, Rocky Horror. Education: Carnegie Mellon and Columbia. Co-author of 'So You Wanna Be a Superstar? (Running Press, 2012) and founder of GET U. IN, a college-coaching company. 

ALEX RINGLER (Miss Texas) is honored to be a contestant for the title of Miss Glamouresse.  No stranger to heels, Alex recently untucked from the First National Tour of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (Emu, U/S Adam/Felicia).  Broadway: West Side Story (Jet/Shark). Tour: A Chorus Line (Greg), West Side Story (Action), Cats (Alonzo). 

Regional: Naked Boys Singing, Seussical. 

MARTY THOMAS (Miss Deep South)  is a Grammy Nominated recording artist who has appeared on Broadway in Wicked, Xanadu and The Secret Garden.  He appeared off Broadway in A Loss of Roses, Black Nativity and My Big Gay Italian Wedding. He appeared in the film Big Gay Musical and plays Damon' on the CBS sitcom Two Broke Girls.  
He traveled Europe with the famed Harlem Gospel Singers as their first Caucasian member. He was named a 1992 Junior Vocalist Ed McMahon's Star Search Champion and the 2008 Mr. Broadway.  His music is available on ITunes, check for more info. Follow @martythomasbway

SETH TUCKER (Miss West Coast) is super excited to be making his Off-Broadway debut as Miss West Coast, and couldn’t be more humbled working with these amazing men-women. Originally from Arizona, Seth studied Marketing and Music Theatre at ASU. Seth was recently seen in Our Kiki: A Gay Farce at last summer’s Fringe Festival and can currently be seen on the comedic web show Acting Up, both of which he also wrote and directed. Favorite credits include: Coneybear (“25th Annual Putnam...”), Jinx (“Forever Plaid”), Snoopy (“Charlie Brown”) and Rod/Bad Idea Bear (“Avenue Q”).

LUKE McCOLLUM (Swing) is super grateful to be joining the other "girls" in this incredible incarnation of
Lisa Lampanelli and @Rhodes Reed with the cast! This was the night I was there
Pageant.  When's he's not wearing high heels at the Davenport Theatre, Luke can be found performing standup comedy across the country as the opening act for Comedy's Loveable Queen of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli.  Luke also performs standup around New York City comedy clubs including Gotham Comedy Club's Homo Comicus, New York Comedy Club, and Broadway Comedy Club.  Past credits include Cirque du Soleil's Viva Elvis in Las Vegas, Cats, Movin’ Out (Nat'l Tours), and he's also featured in the book "Dancers Among Us".  instagram: 

CURTIS WILEY (Miss Bible Belt) is "truly blessed" to be in the company of such fine women (pause for laughter). A few big musical credits include Motown:The Musical, Jersey Boys, The Lion King. Curtis was recently seen Off B'way in The Great Society. Other NYC credits include: TUT , King Lear, The Wild Party, The Cherry Orchard, and Rivers and Tributaries. Curtis first donned a pair of pumps for Wig Out at Sundance Theatre Institute. Curtis had the distinct pleasure of working with Leslie Lee of Negro Ensemble Co. in Martin: Before the Dream, and has been featured in the "Future Classics Series" at New Yorkrenowned Classical Theatre of Harlem. Follow on Twitter/Instagram: @curtis_wiley

FRED ODGAARD (Swing) is excited to join the cast of Pageant.  Musical Theater: We Will Rock You (Ensemble u/s Khasoggii), Evita (Flatrock Playhouse), West Side Story International Tour (Snow Boy). Workshops: Bliss (Entourage), Fighting Gravity.  Stage: Viva Elvis - Cirque Du Soleil, A New Day... - Celine Dion, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Tokyo Disney. Film/Television: The Americans, SNL, NAS Car, Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing With The Stars, Glee, So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Flick, Shrek The Final Chapter and Orbit Gum to name a few.

FRANK KELLY (Book and Lyrics) taught in the Department of English and Humanities at Farmingdale State College. His poems have been appeared in Breadcrumb Scabs, The Bicycle Review, and Danse Macabre. His first book, Growing Up Me: A Memoir in Poems was published in 2012. He wrote the sketches and lyrics for Xmas! The Xpose! and collaborated with Bill Russell and Albert Evans on The Texas Chainsaw Musical, and Pageant. The last has played off-Broadway, in the West End, in Japan, Australia and all over the USA.

BILL RUSSELL (Book and Lyrics) wrote book and lyrics for the Broadway musical Side Show, receiving Tony nominations for both. A revised version premiered at the La Jolla (CA) Playhouse in November, directed by Bill Condon and co-produced by the Kennedy Center (DC) where it opened in June. He has directed Pageant in London (Fringe, West End), Chicago, L.A., Atlanta, Boston and the University of Kansas. He authored book and lyrics for Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens and directed it in New York and London's Fringe and West End, among many others. Bill wrote book and lyrics for Lucky Duck, directing it at the Boston Conservatory. The Last Smoker in America (Book and Lyrics) premiered Off-Broadway in 2012. Lyric credits include the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and the official theme for Gay Games.

ALBERT EVANS (Music) has written music and/or lyrics for Pageant, Nite Club Confidential, Streakin'! and The Texas Chainsaw Musical (off-Broadway); A Country Christmas Carol (several regional productions); Mikado Inc., Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and A Tale of Two Cities (Paper Mill Playhouse); and Yankee Doodle Dandy (5th Avenue Theatre, Ordway Center, Theatre Under the Stars). He also provided English lyrics for New York City Opera's performing version of The Merry Widow, broadcast on Live from Lincoln Center (PBS). Mr. Evans lives in Seattle, where he is the Artistic and Music Associate at The 5th Avenue Theatre.

ROBERT LONGBOTTOM (Original Concept) made his Broadway debut as Director/Choreographer on the original musical Side Show, which earned four TONY Award nominations including Best Musical. Other Broadway credits include Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song following its premiere at The Mark Taper Forum. This production earned Mr. Longbottom a Tony Award nomination for his Choreography as well as an Astaire, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Other Broadway credits include The Scarlet Pimpernel, Bye Bye Birdie for The Roundabout Theatre, and a new production of Dreamgirls that premiered at the Apollo Theatre before embarking on an International Tour. He also directed and choreographed the Off-Broadway hit Pageant, Disney's On the Record, Carnival for the Kennedy Center, The Radio City Music Hall CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR 1994-2000 and Show Boat at Carnegie Hall. Plays include Mister Roberts for the Kennedy Center and Hay Fever for the Old Globe.

MATT LENZ (Director) Broadway: Hairspray (Associate Director), Catch Me If You Can (Associate
From Garbo to Hepburn, the Eyebrows Have It!
Director), Velocity of Autumn (Associate Director), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Resident Director for Broadway and Tours). Matt also directed Hairspray national tours and companies in South Africa, UK, Toronto, Las Vegas and Germany and the national tour of Catch Me if You Can. Off-Broadway: The Irish Curse (Soho Playhouse), Idaho! (NYMF '08 – "Best of Fest" and "Best Director" Awards), Fingers and Toes (NYMF) and Susie Mosher's The Great Daisy Theory. Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Casa Manana, St. Louis MUNY, North Carolina Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre , Zach Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse, Short North Stage, Forestburgh Playhouse, Stamford Center for the Arts. Matt is a member of SDC and a director and teaching artist with The Broadway Dreams Foundation. Dedicated to Val and with love and gratitude to Nicholas and Diego. 

Twinkle Montgomery With Tony Monteleone.
SHEA SULLIVAN (Choreographer) No stranger to pageants, Shea was first runner up in the Miss Oklahoma Pageant in 1995 and since then has choreographed for hundreds of contestants in the Miss America system including Mallory Hagan- Miss America 2013. As a theater/film and TV choreographer, Shea recently received a Carbonell Award for choreography for the second consecutive year. Choreography for Pan Am (ABC), Sweet Charity (Cape Playhouse), Music Man (Maltz Jupiter, Carbonell Award), Kiss Me Kate (Cape Playhouse), Legally Blonde (Cape Playhouse), Southern Comfort (Cap 21 and Barrington Stage), Crazy For You (Cape Playhouse), Grease (Surflight), Ragtime (Lyric Theatre) Crazy For You (Maltz Jupiter, Carbonell Award), Easter Bonnet 2011 Opening Number (Minskoff Theatre), Fingers and Toes (Urban Stages), Dames at Sea (Bay Street Theatre), Pageant: The Musical (Stoneham Theatre), DanceBreak '08, and feature films The Big Gay Musical and Go Go Crazy. Music videos for Boice, Katie Thompson and DanceOn. Facebook/Twitter: @sheasullivan 

Witti Repartee: Empress 3 3/4 of Washington DC ...the tradition continues and so does her devotion to the Monarchs of DC...
MARK HARTMAN (Music Supervisor) Broadway: Sondheim On Sondheim (Associate Conductor), Avenue Q (Associate Conductor, Music Director), 1776 (keyboard staff), Miss Saigon (keyboard staff). Off-Broadway/Regional: Silence! The Musical (Music Supervisor), A Christmas Carol (North Shore Music Theater –IRNE Award Nomination, Best Music Director), and many others. Mark is the recipient of two MAC Awards and the Backstage Bistro Award for Music Direction. Mark was also MY musical director years ago! I LOVE HIM!!

MICAH YOUNG (Music Director)  Award winning Best Music Director in the New York Musical Theatre
Highly Recommended: The SCREW YOU REVUE
Festival 2013. Broadway: White Christmas, Mamma Mia, Spring Awakening, Chicago, Promises, Promises, Mary Poppins, Porgy and Bess, Bye, Bye Birdie, Cinderella. Music Director: Crossing Swords (NYMF), Swing State, (NYMF), Lincoln in Love (Goodspeed Opera House), Rails (York Theatre), Mandela (St. Clemens), The Wild Party (Riverside Theatre), The Last Five Years (Enlightened Theatrics), The Casebook of Rudolf H- (New York Theatre Workshop). Associate Music Director Guys and Dolls (Nat'l Tour), White Christmas (Paper Mill Playhouse), West Side Story (Ogunquit Playhouse). Performed at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Caroline’s Comedy Club, Metropolitan Room, York Theatre, and Joe’s Pub, NYC. Composer and Lyricist, original compositions commissioned by Miracle House, The Flea Theatre, Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Training: Bowdoin International Music Festival, Professional Musical Theatre Workshop with Paul Gemignani, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Manhattan School of Music with Constance Keene and Maria Asteriadou.

Reverend Yolanda
 PAUL TATE DEPOO III (Scenic Designer) is a scenic designer for opera, musicals, plays, concerts and special events based in Manhattan. Most recently, Paul created the sets for A Christmas Carol (Capital Rep), Annie (Maltz Jupiter- Carbonell Award Nominee for Best Scenic Design), Look Upon Our Lowliness (NYC Movement Co.), Hello Dolly (Cape Playhouse), Avenue Q (Adirondack Theatre Festival), Broadway's Beauty Pageant, and the 2013 Lincoln Center Directors Lab. He previously designed A Raisin In the Sun (Palm Beach Dramaworks), The Music Man (Maltz Jupiter/Carbonell Award's Best Musical Production), Hello Dolly! (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), The Kite Runner (Boston Repertory Theatre) and the National Tour for indie band Neutral Milk Hotel’s The Music Tapes. Upcoming productions include the new web series Oh, Liza, Master Harold and the Boys (Luna Stage) and both Sweeney Todd at Lincoln Center, and Chicago Lyric Opera's Marriage of  Figaro with scenic designer James Noone. Originally from Key West, FL, Paul is a design graduate of Boston University. 

Tonight at BoxersNYC,everyone is invited to watch The Miss America pageant with the cast of Pageant!

Here is a nod to one of my favorite drag entertainers: KICKSTARTER for RevYolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour THE MOVIE by Ike Allen.

Thank to ALL mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
With grateful XOXOXs ,

Check out my site celebrating the first Fifty Years of Hello, Dolly!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Check out This Site Celebrating Arlene Dahl's Body of Film Work

Be sure and Save The Date to see Jim Speake on October 11th as he celebrates Cy Coleman

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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
Richard Skipper Celebrates

Lee Meriwether, Miss America 1955

Richard Skipper,

1 comment:

  1. What a colourful, fun looking production! Where can I catch it?