Monday, November 5, 2018

Pageant—Triangles Productions!--NW Portland




         Glitz, Glamour & Glory

    This musical spoof of beauty pageants has book and lyrics by Bill Russell and Frank Kelly, music by Albert Evans, conceived by Robert Longbottom and directed by Donald Horn.  It is playing at Darcelle XV CLUB, 208 NW 3rd Ave., Sundays, Nov. 11th and 18th at 2 pm.  For more information, go to their site at www.trianglepro.org or call 503-239-5919.

    Spoofs of this sort on beauty pageants are not new, there was a film some years ago with Bruce Dern called, “Smile,” and, unintentionally, perhaps, the actual contests themselves have become a sort of self-mockery, with charges of corruption, sexual abuse and, with the current MeToo Movement, perhaps, will fade into the sunset.  But these folks take another slant on it with music, songs (vocal direction, Kristi Foster), and dance (choreographer, Sara Mishler Martins), as well as liberal doses of salty humor.

    I hate to go into too much detail, as so much of the fun is how the audience and judges (chosen from the audience), respond to the outrageous antics.  There is, of course, the Emcee (James Sharinghousen)—eat your heart out, Bert Parks, he’s twice the entertainer that you pretended to be.  And, of course, there’s the stars of the show, the beauties, the finalist in a contest for Queen, it’s sponsored by a beauty products company (so liberal endorsements are freely given…er, demanded). 

    The Beauties, in this case are, Miss West Coast (Collin Carver), not the sharpest knife in the drawer; Mis Industrial NE (Pepe Raphael), a very animated, Hispanic-American, who is the live wire of this grouping; Miss Deep South (Shaun Hennessy), spouting Dixie at every opportunity; Miss Bible Belt (Joe Healy), conducting herself as if an old world, fire & brimstone revivalist;  Miss Great Plains (Jeremy Sloan), the lone model for rural America; and Miss Texas (Kevin Cook), the unabashedly, All-American ambassador.

    And like all good contests of this sort, the contestants had to exhibit certain winning traits to rise to the top and become its Queen.  The categories are:  formal dress (evening gowns); swimsuit; talent (watch for the puppet act, they are a scream); physical fitness (a very active dance number); and a musical chairs activity around a phone, in which the answerer of the hot-line must solve the problem of the caller—probably the most inventive of all the selections.  Really can’t tell you more without being a spoiler.

    This is a fun evening brought to you by the very creative, Don Horn and the perfect setting for this event, generously provided by Darcelle.  And kudos must also go to the clever lighting and sound man, Jason Coffey; terrific wig designs by Jane Holmes/See Jane and costumes (no credit given); and a special shout-out to the wait staff (Leo & Co.), who was a favorite with the audience.  Sharinghousen is always worth seeing in everything he does; Raphael was a hoot; the puppet act by Hennessy almost stole the show; but my over-all favorite was Carver, as the dimmest light bulb in the chandelier who, also, is very notable in every production he’s a part of!

    I recommend this show.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.
--DJS

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