“Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls.” said The Kinks – those words aptly apply to Pageant: A Musical Comedy Beauty Contest, in which that odd and somewhat tarnish artefact of the recent past, the All-American Beauty Contest, gets a re-gendered 21st century makeover—leaving laughter in its wake.
After 2018’s successful (but too short) run in Vancouver, the Kay Meek Arts Centre is presenting a revival of the musical comedy, produced and directed by Christopher Shyer-Johnson, who returns from the show’s original run at Blake Snyder Theatre.
Presented as a special recorded limited-run event the comedy sees six contestants compete for the vaunted title of Miss Glamouresse. The twist? The enchanting competitors are played by male-identifying actors, striving to out-poise each other as eye-candy and spokesmodels across a range of categories (including swimwear), as they vie for the diamond tiara under the paternal gaze of our host and compere, Frankie Cavalier, a role is taken by Rachel Hayward
Those of a certain age will remember the uniquely uncomfortable and definitely, sexist phenomenon of the beauty pageant, or its association, at one time, with a certain Mr. Trump. With its wilful confusion of gender, Pageant takes a sharp and subversive poke at those patriarchal standards of beauty and feminine behaviour, deliciously lampooning an era that might have passed, but maybe isn’t as distant as we think.
Joining Hayward in this musical romp—which has been compared to the classic satire of Kids in the Hall—are Jacob Wokie (Miss Bible Belt), Derry Oshust (Miss Great Plains), Matheus Severo (Miss Industrial North East), Nick Rose (Miss Deep South), Marco Walker-Ng (Miss Texas), and Nic Walter (Miss West Coast).
Pageant: A Musical Comedy Beauty Contest streams online August 18 and 25 at 3pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are available online at kaymeek.com for $25 Adults/ $22 Seniors.