Reviewed by Meaghan Greyson
At the Outback Theatre, HCCC, Baltimore, MD. on March 18th, 2001.
Rep Stage presented, in the Baltimore-Washington area, this hilarious comedy, which was conceived by Robert Longbottom, with book and lyrics by Bill Russell and Frank Kelly, and music by Albert Evans. Designed by Robert Marietta. Costumes by Denise Umland. Musical Director, Steven Zumbrun. Choreography by James Hunnicutt.
Ingeniously directed by Terry J. Long, this bizarre little musical does not reveal either any misogynistic traces or sarcastic innuendoes. It is a show with drag performers which allows the audience not to forget that they were all men underneath.
The cast, joyful and witty, included Stuart Goldstone (Miss Bible Belt), James J. Waltz (Miss Deep South), Randolph Hadaway (Miss Texas), Brian Jacobs (Miss Industrial Northeast), David C. Allen (Miss West Coast), Douglas Lisenbee (Miss Great Plains) and Ty Hreben as Frank Cavalier, the master of ceremonies.
The play is a parody of the standard well-known Beauty Pageant: The Glamouresse competition, put up by a cosmetic firm and where in each performance a panel of judges, selected from the audience, chooses the winner among the only six finalists who compete in the traditional categories: swimsuit, evening gown, etc....
Those silly beauty queens peddle cheerfully Glamouresse beauty products such as Smooth-as-Marble Facial Spackle; the nutritious lipstick, the Lip Snack, that comes in twenty odd shades and flavors; and the Solar-Powered Rollers among others. This joke makes each performance unique in the sense that it becomes a different show every time.
Highlights of the play were Miss Southern Belle's inane ventriloquist act, with a pair of hand puppets; the Miss Texas's angry behavior when becoming second runner up as well as the funny and superfluous evangelism of Miss Bible Belt (Goldstone) who in fact won the contest and was crowned 'Miss Glamouresse".
Although this satire cannot be compared to La Cage of Folles or either to any of Ludlam's campy plays for its commercialized absurdities of beauty queens contests, however it is an enjoyable and hysterical well-drilled production.
This comedy runs until April 8th, 2001.
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