PAGEANT Brings The Highs And Lows Of The Competition To Willows Cabaret 5/25

Pageant is more than a musical. It's a real beauty pageant with all the trappings that make you cringe and weep and giggle with delight. The emcee is an outrage, and the Ricardo Rust (Miss Texas), Randy Nazarian (M.C.), and Sean Patrick Murtaugh (Miss Industrial Northeast) in Pageant at the Willows Cabaret in Martinez, May 25-June 21, 2009.

"girls" are everything you've ever seen ... and beyond. This could be one of the funniest musicals to emerge from Off-Broadway in many years. Six beauty queens, Miss Deep South, Miss Bible Belt, Miss Industrial Northeast, Miss Great Plains, Miss Texas, and Miss West Coast, compete to become the new Miss Glamouresse. The judges are chosen from The Audience, so every night a different contestant is a potential winner.

The Willows Cabaret proudly presents Pageant, May 25 - June 21, 2009, at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward Street in Martinez, CA 94553. The show is conceived by Robert Longbottom with music by Albert Evans and book and lyrics by Bill Russell and Frank Kelly. The Willows production is directed and choreographed by Steven Edlund, with musical direction by Kim Vetterli. The Campbell Theatre is the Willows' downtown Martinez theatre - a true cabaret setting with tableside service.

Pageant celebrates every element that makes beauty pageants ... well ... what they are. The emcee is smarmy and over-the-top. Each contestant has already won a regional title, so they each represent a different part of the country, competing with each other in several different categories - swimsuit, evening gown, spokesmodel, and, of course, talent. The "girls" are sniping, ambitious, vulnerable, and truly believe that a good accordion solo can bring about world peace. If nothing else, they are sincere.

"What gives Pageant permission to work is the fact that the contestants are all played by men in drag. A wide-eyed contestant scared to death to be in a pageant might evoke pity - a dangerous thing to happen in a satire - but when she's played by a guy in a dress, there's an added distance from reality that allows The Audience to laugh without guilt. Women in the roles just wouldn't be as funny. This is not to say the show is all about drag...the fact that the contestants are actually played by men is largely ignored by the show's script. But it is, without doubt, this concept that enables the show to work." - Sharon Permutter, Talkin' Broadway

Cast of the Willows Cabaret production of Pageant

Frankie..............................Randy Nazarian
Miss Texas..........................Ricardo Rust*
Miss Deep South...................Ben Wetzel
Miss Great Plains...................Anthony Jackson
Miss Industrial Northeast.........Sean Patrick Murtaugh
Miss Bible Belt.....................Danny Noble
Miss West Coast...................Matt Petromilli
Frankie understudy.................Jonathan Spencer

Director & Choreographer........Steven Edlund
Musical Direction..................Kim Vetterli

Ticket and Schedule Information
Tickets are $22-$32 with discounts for students (6-18), seniors (65+), groups (10+), and Preview performances. To purchase tickets call (925) 798-1300 or visit the Willows Theatre web site at Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., with matinees Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Low-priced Previews held Mon-Tue-Wed of Opening Week (7:30 pm).

The Campbell Theatre is located at 636 Ward Street in downtown Martinez, one block east of Main Street at the corner of Estudillo Street.

The Willows Theatre Company Daytime Box Office is located at 636 Ward Street in Martinez, in the lobby of the Campbell Theatre. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 12:00-6:00 pm. The theatre box office and will-call window, located in the theatre lobby, opens one hour prior to each performance. For more information call (925) 798-1300 or visit our web site at

May 25 - June 21 at the Willows Cabaret at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward Street in downtown Martinez, CA - a true cabaret setting with tableside service.

Tickets $22-32. Evening shows on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.; matinees on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. (925) 798-1300 or


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