Funny Girl

Meet the Cast of Funny Girl

LIZ FALLON (Fanny Brice) Liz is SO ecstatic to be back at her favorite West Coast spot to tell this beautiful story with some of her favorite people! She was recently seen this summer as Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical. Other ABT favorites include Charity Hope Valentine in Sweet Charity, Angel in The Best Little…, and Graziella in West Side Story. Liz also spent a summer as the lead singer/dancer on Holland America’s MS Statendam. She is a proud St. Louis native, who graduated in 2012 with her BFA in Musical Theatre/Dance from Millikin University. So much love and many, many, many thanks to the entire ABT family. To friends & family who made the trek to the desert to see the show, (especially Aunt Donna, Jules, & Mac) I love you. And as always, shout out and kisses to Mom, Dad, and Brian. Y’all are the greatest! This one’s for you, BP. www.lfallon.com

JAMIE PARNELL (Nick Arnstein) a Montana native, is honored to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre for Funny Girl.  Jamie, who studied Vocal Performance and Theater at the University of Montana, has previously been on the ABT stage in A Christmas Carol (Young Marley, Bob Cratchit), Phantom (Ens., Phantom U/S), Footloose (Principal Clark), Sweet Charity (Vittorio Vidal), Carousel (Mr. Bascombe, Billy U/S), Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik), and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Bandleader).  Jamie spends his summers working as an actor, stage manager, TD, and Residence Manager at the historic Fort Peck Summer Theatre, and has toured with the MRT’s Educational Outreach Tour, providing literature training through theatre to over 50 communities.   “This one, like the rest, is for you.  Thank you for the rain.”

PHIL  SLOVES (Eddie Ryan) is so glad to be back at ABT! Past ABT: Young Marley (Christmas Carol), Dexter Andrew (Dottie Maraschino Show), and CJ Scruggs/Aggie (Whorehouse). Favorite Regional Credits: Cliff Bradshaw (Cabaret), Mr. Braithwaite (Billy Elliot), Action (West Side Story). Thanks to Kiel, Cass, Kurtis, Rob, My family, @gripless, and my beautiful girlfriend Gabby. www.philsloves.com

GERRI WEAGRAFF (Mrs. Brice) is delighted to make her ABT debut! Gerri recently portrayed Vi Moore in Footloose at the Eldorado Theatre in Reno, and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd at The Candlelight Theatre in her home state of Delaware. From 2010 to 2012, she was in the national tour of Fiddler on the Roof, playing Golde the second year. Regional: Unnecessary Farce at Act II Playhouse; Into the Woods at Eagle Theatre; The Light in the Piazza at Villanova Theatre; Lend Me A Tenor at Beef & Boards; Miles and Ellie at Montgomery Theater. Other favorite roles: Miss Hannigan (Annie), Dorothy Brock (42nd Street), Phyllis Stone (Follies), Sister Amnesia (Nunsense). For Mom.

T.V. REEVES (Florenz Ziegfeld) first appeared as General Henry Waverly in White Christmas here at the ABT and now is proud and excited to appear in the role of Florenz Ziegfeld in Funny Girl. His career began by a SAG card in a Chrysler production just after graduation from college. Credits include television, film, radio, stage, and even some print work when he was young and in shape. He is a combat veteran of Vietnam and considers himself the luckiest man on Earth.

TIM SHAWVER (Tom Keeney) returns from ABT’s productions of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Lucky Stiff, Church Basement Ladies, and It’s A Wonderful Life: Radio Play. His Valley acting credits include shows at Phoenix Theatre (BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON), Childsplay (Junie B. Jones, Click Clack Moo) Actors Theatre (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Southwest Shakespeare Company, and Stray Cat Theatre (The Tomkat Project). Tim is a founder and the Director of Artist Operations of A/C Theatre Company, where he co-directed Lizzie and directed Murder Ballad. He is an Arizona native with a BA in Theatre from ASU.

JOHANNA CARLISLE (Mrs. Strakosh) is always happy to be returning to ABT where she has portrayed Yente in Fiddler on the Roof, Madame Thernardier in Les Misérables and Miss Hannigan in Annie. She also has performed in 5 of our Theatre for Young Audience shows!  Regional credits: Abuela Claudia (In the Heights), Mayor/Ma (The Toxic Avenger), Truvy (Steel Magnolias), Katie Nana/Mrs. Correy/Miss Andrew (Mary Poppins); Martha (White Christmas); Mazeppa (Gypsy); Rev. Mother (Nunsense 2); Effy (Spitfire Grill); Sarraghina (Nine),  Carmen Bernstein (Curtains); Mrs. Paroo (The Music Man, Phoenix Theatre/Phoenix Symphony). Local credits; Mary (The Whale); Mrs. Johnstone (Blood Brothers); Eddie/Dr. Scott (The Rocky Horror Show); Sister Hubert (Nunsense);  Guinevere (Camelot). BA in Vocal Performance from Cornell College.  Proud mom of actor, Maxx Carlisle-King. “Mad love to Maxx and Paul…without you, my world would not be as bright nor as adventurous.”

CAROLYN McPHEE (Mrs. O’Malley) is ecstatic to be back on the ABT stage! Carolyn has been lucky to have performed in shows here at ABT since the first season in And The World Goes Round.  Some favorites are The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Linoleum), 9 to 5: The Musical (Violet), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Woman 2), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Rhetta) and Forbidden Broadway (Liza/Barbara/Carol). Carolyn has been lucky enough to work for Jeff Kennedy & iTheatre for five Christmases at the Herberger Theatre Center, and Smokey Joe’s Café at Phoenix Theatre (AriZoni Nomination). Carolyn and her husband foster kittens and help rehome found pets.  Carolyn donates her entire salary to help with spay/neuter/dental costs of cats and dogs for people who cannot afford it and hopes to start a fund in 2017.

ANASOFIA GALLEGOS (Mrs. Meeker) is overjoyed to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre for her second show! Anasofia Gallegos recently graduated from Arizona State University, having received her dual Bachelor’s degrees in Voice Performance and Musical Theatre. She has enjoyed performing in several facets in the valley, including opera, musical theatre, straight theatre, film, church work and solo recitals. Some of her favorite roles in the valley include Martha in Heathers: The Musical, and Lead Poet in Women of War. “I want to thank my loving and supportive family back home, my voice teacher David Britton, and most of all my beautiful mother for everything she has done to make my dreams come true.”

TONY BLOSSER (Renaldi/Male Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to Arizona Broadway Theatre for another season and is humbled to be a part of such an amazing cast! He was last seen as a cross-dressing wolf in Shrek The Musical, where he learned that dancing in heels is MUCH harder. ABT has blessed him with the chance to be an eight-year-old, a ghost, a crotchety gardener, a macabre solicitor, a nun, an obsessed British naval officer, a cupcake fairy, a tavern owner, a king, and a terrified guard wearing the best wig ever! He even got to play a third of every Shakespearean character ever written in one fast-paced production. Tony would like to thank ABT, Cassandra, Kurtis, and all involved for welcoming him back time after time, and for making it more difficult to figure out his “Type.”  Here’s to another great season! #greenscarf

IAN CONNOR (Production Tenor/Male Ensemble) is ecstatic to be making his West Coast debut here at ABT! A recent graduate, Ian has enjoyed exploring the US, working for companies such as Ocean Professional Theatre (NJ), Interlakes Summer Theatre (NH), Wagon Wheel Theatre (IN), Artist’s Ensemble Theatre (IL), RWS and Associates (PA), Round Barn Theatre (IN), and Trumpet in the Land (OH). Ian is currently collaborating with NYC composing team Derek Gregor and Selda Sahin in writing the off-broadway adaptation of his original musical, THE MCDONOLOGUES! As a teacher, director, and producer, Ian operates ELEVATIONS: Theatrical Marketing & Design, offering personalized audition materials for actors and customized promotional materials for arts organizations around the world! “Your life is your career. All you need is a series of jobs to support it.” – Dannielle Robertson

MARTY CRAFT (Male Ensemble) is thrilled to be at Arizona Broadway Theatre for the first time! Favorite credits include National Tour- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Regional- A Chorus Line, Singin’ in the Rain, Oklahoma!, All Shook Up, Beauty and the Beast. He got his BFA in Music Theatre from Viterbo University. Thanks to his family for all of their support!

EVAN DOLAN (Male Ensemble) Evan is delighted to make his ABT debut in Funny Girl! Favorite regional credits include Cabaret (Emcee), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Jetsam), Giant (Jett Rink), West Side Story (Baby John), Shrek: The Musical (Lord Farquaad). Evan is a proud graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University. He sends all his love to his family for always supporting his adventures! #teamdolan

CHUCKIE DIXON (Male Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to the ABT stage!  A proud alum of ECU (go Pirates!), he is now living his dream in NYC. Some favorite credits include Clifford the Big Red Dog Live Tour (Clifford), Spamalot (French Taunter), South Pacific (Professor), Peter Pan (Slightly Soiled), CATS (Mungojerrie), A Christmas Story (Scut Farkus), and Fiddler on the Roof (Mendel). Thank you, ABT! Love to my Mom and my Aunt Karen – so grateful for your support! Missing my exquisite partner-in-crime: my Rumpleteazer, Mal!

DWAN HAYES (Female Ensemble) is thrilled to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre in Funny Girl. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she has a BM in Musical Theatre from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Regional: All Shook Up (Sylvia), Blues in The Night (Lady From the Road), Buddy Holly Story (Apollo Performer), Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle), Smokey Joe’s Café (B.J.). Tours: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad (Ms. Ross). Dwan would like to give special thanks to her family and friends for their love and support.

HALEY JONES (Female Ensemble) is originally from Burlington, KY, and now resides in NYC. She is thrilled to be performing in her first production at ABT! Professional credits include Ensemble/Mary Cover in Mary Poppins (Midtown Arts Center), Jennifer in The Starter (NYC International Fringe Festival), Marcy in The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee (Commonwealth Theater), Kate Roby in A. Lincoln: A Pioneer Tale (The Lincoln Amphitheater) and Ruby in Dames at Sea (OST). She has her BFA in Acting from Otterbein University. Haley would like to thank her family for being so supportive (and very funny!) For more info, check out haleyjones.com!

JENNIFER MAURER (Female Ensemble) is ecstatic to make her debut at Arizona Broadway Theatre! She is a graduate of the BFA Music Theatre program at Florida State University and currently resides in New York City.  Favorite regional credits include Grease (Sandy), A Man of No Importance (Adele), The Addams Family (Bride Ancestor) at The Fulton, and The Little Mermaid (Melody) at Maine State Music Theatre. Many thanks to family and friends for always traveling far to see her perform and God for His unwavering support.  @jmau91, jennifermaurer.com

LAUREN PALEY (Female Ensemble) is jazzed to be making her ABT debut in Funny Girl! Previous credits include Carousel at Reagle Music Theatre, White Christmas at the Jenny Wiley Theatre, Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Ogunquit Playhouse, and Hairspray at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre. Lauren is a proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she received a BA in Theater and Dance. She is ever grateful to ABT for this unbelievable opportunity! Special thanks to Mom, Dad, Will, and all of her teachers along the way!

TYLER PIRRUNG (Male Ensemble) is so excited to be making his Arizona Broadway Theatre debut in the ensemble of Funny Girl!  Tyler holds a BA in Theatre from Florida State University, where he also minored in Early Childhood Development. Some of Tyler’s favorite credits include Young Frankenstein (Igor), Hot Mikado (Ko Ko), Spring Awakening (Moritz), Merrily We Roll Along (Charley), Julius Caesar (Brutus), 42nd Street, Grease, and Shrek. Tyler would like to thank his family and friends for their endless love and support. To see what else Tyler has done and find out what adventures await him next, please visit tylerpirrung.com!

EMILY RHEIN (Female Ensemble) ABT Debut! Originally from Des Moines, Emily currently calls New York City home. Favorite credits include 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, and Little Women. “Love and thanks to my wonderfully supportive family, friends and Prevail Artist Management.” @EmRhein www.EmilyRhein.com

ALI WHITWELL (Female Ensemble) just graduated from Arizona School for the Arts and is thrilled to be back on the ABT stage! She was previously seen on the ABT stage as Gingy/Sugar Plum Fairy in Shrek and in last season’s Legally Blonde. Some of her favorite previous credits include Julia Sullivan in Wedding Singer, Joanne Jefferson in RENT, Logainne in Spelling Bee (All at SYT), and Belle in Beauty and the Beast (ASPA). Ali was also the winner of the 2015 Arizona Young Artist’s Vocal Competition. She would like to thank Kurtis and Cassandra for honoring her with such an amazing opportunity, Mark and Lynzee 4man for always pushing her to be her best, her family and best friend, Mason, for their never ending support, and, finally, everyone at ABT for welcoming her into this unbelievable family.

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Pageant Contestant: Meet Miss Texas

Yee-haw! Here she is, Miss Texas!

Most Likely To Succeed by high school vote, Kitty-Bob Ames is on her way to fulfilling this perceptive perception after winning the Texas Triple Crown of Beauty. You could say that pageants are in this young lady’s blood, with a mother and a grandmother who both won titles in their day. Kitty-Bob entered her first pageant, The Little Miss Armadillo Pageant, at the age of seven.

Being that she is the only child, Kitty-Bob’s daily life largely centers on her family. She works with her parents at their family-owned gun emporium. She also likes adding to the Precious Moments collection her grandmother started.

She looks forward to “competing” for the crown of Miss Glamouresse. With her pageant experience, she has the utmost confidence in winning the title and will be glad to serve as Miss Glamouresse for 2016.

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?
If I had a magic wand, I would wish for everyone to be beautiful because beautiful people are happier people.

What is your greatest contribution to society?
My greatest contribution to society is my unending and tireless work with the beauty impaired. I’m trying to make the world a better place one unfortunate face at a time.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?
I love my wardrobe and my gun collection. As for dislike: No Comment.

What is the essence of being a woman?
I believe the essence of being a woman consists of making yourself as beautiful as a magazine cover, no matter what it takes.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?
Winners are better than losers.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?
My pistol for multiple reasons.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?
The only sacrifice that I’ve made is my constant advice that I give to the other contestants.

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Pageant Emcee: Meet Frankie Cavalier

Here he is, that emcee of emcees, Frankie Cavalier!

Hello, my name is Frankie (short for Francis, just like Sinatra!) Cavalier. It is my great honor to tell you a bit about myself.

The Cavalier dynasty of involvement in this great business we call ‘show’ dates all the back the Ford Theater, in prestigious Washington DC and its historic production of ‘Our American Cousin’. In fact, the production was visited by the historic Gettysburg Address writer, Abraham Lincoln, who chose it to be his last Theatrical experience. Sad.

An under-rated piece of theatre, here’s was a review that was submitted, many years later :

“While I can’t speak for Mrs. Lincoln, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised: if not exactly funny, if not even somewhere in the vicinity of “good,” the play is better than its awful reputation as a mere repository of dated, cornpone gags, though it is that, too. But I think it is fair to say that if you are going to die a violent unexpected death, having a performance of Our American Cousin be the very last thing you see would be far preferable to having the last thing you see be Dallas, even on a nice day.”

The Cavalier’s have not been cavalier about their involvement in the Arts and have graced stages off-Broadway, VFW halls and cafe-gymnatoriums across the United States (and Canada!).

It is an honor for me to be introducing clips on America’s Goofiest People that show true Americana and Values while letting Americans know they have a silly side and are not just the HARDEST WORKING GROUP of people on the Earth (and beyond). I do wish people to know I am just the spokesman for the HAIR BARN, not a client—thanks, Great Grams Etta J !

I leave you with this personal philosophy:

Life is a play and we all play a part
The Lover, the Dreamer, the Clown
The Dreamer and Lover are always in tears
The Clown spreads sunshine around
The life with a smile is the life worthwhile
The Clown till the curtain comes down

(Fred Waring and his Orchestra, Laugh Clown Laugh)

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?
Peace….and Love… and perhaps a one man show.

What is your greatest contribution to society?
I get to do that EVERY DAY – make people happy.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?
There is very little I dislike about myself.

What is the essence of being a woman?
Ho Ho!!!   You tried to get me with a trick question, didn’t you! But honestly living in a climate with a good moisture balance in the atmosphere.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?
My mother died in a rather tragic show related accident, so unfortunately, I received no lessons from her.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?
A collection of Tolstoy. I assume it would take me a long time to get through.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?
While many, they have far been outweighed by watching the joy, intestinal fortitude, and sheer hard work of these young ladies striving to achieve the pinnacle of their young lives. (The lights are a bit harsh on my hair, but completely worth it for the opportunity!)

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Pageant Contestant: Meet Miss Great Plains

Miss Great Plains, Bonnie Louise Cutlett!

Miss Great Plains, Bonnie Louise Cutlett, is delighted to be upholding her regional title as both the first and second runner up were unavailable for this Miss Glamouresse Pageant. The youngest daughter of Connie and Carl Cutlett, Bonnie spent the first four years of her life mistaken for a boy by fourteen of her seventeen brothers and sisters. As a farm girl, Bonnie is no stranger to hard work. Whether she’s milking the goat or castrating a bull, there’s nothing that brings her greater joy than rolling up her sleeves and getting to work. In addition to farming, Bonnie also enjoys crochet, bridge, needlepoint, and hammer throw.  

This is Bonnie’s third pageant in her life and she couldn’t be more excited to be here. Brought into the pageant world by her mother, Connie Cutlett, for the Lake Okabogee Mother-Daughter Pageant (which she did not win), she made the realization that there is more to life than manure. When she’s not working on the farm or practicing walking in a straight line, she enjoys bringing environmental awareness to the world through motivational speaking and bake sales. If Bonnie wins the Miss Glamouresse Pageant, she will look out into that great audience and say, in the words of one of the greatest American women, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, “Thanks.”

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?

I would wish for a world with no war and no GMOs. Because we should be able to raise our children and pets in a world without senseless violence and no one should have to eat corn that can’t die.

What is your greatest contribution to society?

When I was twelve, I grew a banana squash for the Keokuk County Fair that weighed 38 pounds. I came in second but felt like it was a great contribution to society.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?

I really like my nails. I had them done for the Pageant and before that I didn’t really know what they looked like. As far as dislikes, I don’t have many. If I had to pick one, I would say my voice… I’ve always wanted to have a voice like Anita Bryant.

What is the essence of being a woman?

I can’t say for sure, but I think it’s estrogen.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?

My mom is my best friend. She’s probably the best mom in the whole world. As a mother of 18, she’s taught me the importance of name tags.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?

My guinea pig, Walter. His anxiety really flairs up when he’s away from me.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?

Our pig, Gretchen, is having piglets very soon. I’ve never missed the birth of a single pig on our farm in the last ten years, but I know my siblings, Betty, Brenda, Barb, Brett, Bart, Bradley, Brent, Brian, Barley, Boomer, Billy, Beatrice, Barnaby, Blaine, Blaire, Beau, Bronson, and Carl will be able to hold down the fort while I’m gone. 

Pageant Contestant: Miss West Coast

Here she is, Miss West Coast, Karma Quinn!

I’m not the best at writing and all, but I’m super excited to share a little about me. They said to, “write in 3rd person” but what’s special about me is that I have been reincarnated so many times I could literally do this in the 11th or 12th person. So, 35” 22” 35”. Umm, Gemini. Pink, obvi. When I was younger my favorite movie was, “A Walk to Remember” but now that I’m grown I’m really into, “Inside Out” (just as good for adults). Dirty blonde. Yoga, beach, salad. I recently started the pageant circuit after my ex-boyfriend’s director friend suggested I should try out modeling. I was like, “modeling would be so fun, but I have more to offer than just looks. I also ribbon dance.” Pageants seemed to be the natural next step. Not really into the competing, so it’s like low stress and I meet some great, strong, crazy smart ladies and I learn something new every day. Like, did you know that in Texas you can backhand someone when they say something stupid? I learned the hard way cause Kitty Bob tends to follow Texas rules in the dressing room. In my free time I like to stencil, visit vortexes, and paint my friends’ nails. Thanks to my mom, dad, stepdad, Todd, my brother Leaf and little sisters Sedona, Moon, Rainstorm and Hopitaki Tutu (adopted but still just sweet and sassy). Now you know me. In a weird way, we’re kinda connected. Like, I’m in your mind. You are reading this right now in your head, but the voice you gave me in your head is like my voice or your interpretation of my voice. So, I’m kinda like in your head…part of you. Heavy.

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?

If I had a magic wand I’d keep it very safe because you do not want to lose a thing like that. Then I’d wish for world peace because that would be great! Then for like, a woman president, cause Hillary, duh. Then I’d wish for everyone to get what they want. Then I’d probably have to wish for world peace again cause, ya know, you can’t have everything. Like, it can’t be peaceful forever, right? So, I’d need to use that wand every so often. Keep people in line.

What is your greatest contribution to society?

My greatest contribution has taken over 300 years. Throughout all my past lives I have slowly been building my great contribution to the world. I can’t tell you what it is, but it’s gonna be great. And glittery. 

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?

What I like best about myself is probably my intuition. I’ve always been able to intoot since I was a little girl. What I dislike is probably, I usually don’t talk about this, but my left eye is a little smaller than my right. 

What is the essence of being a woman?

The essence of being a woman is mainly water and then I think it is carbon or carbide. Hair and nails, and that is basically it. Crazy to think that such complex things are all made of the same few elements. Oh, and skin.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?

The most important lesson my mother ever taught me was to “stop using the blow dryer in the shower.” You can get electrocuted that way. My neighbor’s cousin did that and ended up in the ICU for like a week.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?

If I were stuck on a desert island the one thing I would def bring is my magical wand I keep hidden away. 

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?

I don’t believe in animal sacrificing and I’d prefer not giving the topic more thought.

Pageant Contestant: Meet Miss Bible Belt

Presenting Miss Bible Belt, Ruth Ann Ruth!

Ruth Ann Ruth, Miss Bible Belt, was born on the Sabbath and considers every day to be a holy and blessed one. She is an active member of Pure Holiness Missionary Pentecostal Baptist Church of God in Christ where her father, The Honorable Reverend Reuben Vance Ruth, serves as pastor. It was her mother, Wynona Elizabeth Ruth, that introduced Ruth Ann to her true ministry, song. Even though Wynona served as choir director, Ruth Ann had to audition for her first solo at the age of 8. From a very young age, Ruth Ann has known the value of hard work and that nothing in life is handed to you. In addition to her rigorous studies at Bob Jones University, Ruth Ann leads worship at her church’s 5 weekly services and serves as chair of the Ladies of Virtue Prayer Circle. Since attaining her crown as Miss Bible Belt, Ruth Ann has spread God’s word around the world, performing missionary work in Guam, Costa Rica, and East Harlem. While Ruth Ann is honored and grateful to compete for the coveted title of Miss Glamouresse, she knows that the greatest crown isn’t the one made of jewels but the one made of thorns worn by our heavenly father on Calvary. 

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?

I would wish for the whole world to know the love and joy that my Lord and savior brings me each and every day.

What is your greatest contribution to society?

My greatest contribution to society is my passionate and fervent prayers.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?

I love my musical talents. I don’t dislike anything about myself. The good Lord doesn’t make mistakes.

What is the essence of being a woman?

The essence of being a woman is simplicity: God, family, career (in that order).

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?

My mother was a living breathing example of the golden rule: treat others the way you would want them to treat you.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?

I would bring my Bible because spiritual food is the only kind that truly nourishes.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?

Some may consider foregoing tasty desserts a sacrifice, but I know Lord will use my personal sacrifice for his glory, just like He did for his only begotten son.

Pageant Contestant: Meet Miss Deep South

Meet Miss Deep South, Laurinda Summerford!

Born on a harvest moon in her hometown of Valdosta, Georgia, Laurinda Summerford is the pride and joy of Rev. Elliot Summerford and his wife Constance, a direct descendant of prolific Southern writer Margaret Mitchell (Gone With The Wind). An only child, Laurinda’s flair for the dramatic was discovered early on. From the age of 5, her parents nurtured her many talents, including classical singing, puppetry, dancing, and recitation of dramatic monologues. In high school, she had many friends, and was voted “Most Likely to Get Married Before 25.” In addition to various philanthropic efforts, and being secretary of the drama club, she acted in and directed shows at the Drama Depot. Among her favorite roles, she’s played are Scarlett O’Hara (in a 6-hour adaptation of Gone with the Wind that she penned herself), Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Truvee in Steel Magnolias. After high school, she went full force into the pageant circuit and has found that is where her true passion lies (in addition to cancer research, of course.) When she wins she will devote her reign to making sure the world is a more beautiful place and to seeing that traditional gender roles are reinstated in our society. After all, what good is a woman if she doesn’t have a man to take care of?

“I have always believed in the kindness of strangers.” – Tennessee Williams*

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?

If I had a magic wand I would wish for a return to the dignity and grace of yesteryear. A time when people dressed for dinner. When ladies and gentleman knew their place in society, and didn’t have to be confused about who was in charge of what. When people spoke in modulated tones and didn’t curse so freely. In short, a return to manners and gentility.

What is your greatest contribution to society?

My greatest contribution to society is my art. If I didn’t give that to my community, the world would be a less beautiful place. Between that and my cancer research, I would say I contribute significantly to my community and the world at large.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?

I love everything about myself, but first and foremost I love my beauty (both inside and out) and my generosity of spirit. I think we should all spend more time being positive and grateful for what we have instead of focusing on things we don’t have or don’t like about ourselves.

What is the essence of being a woman?

The essence of being a woman is beauty and grace. If we didn’t have those things, we wouldn’t be women. We’d just be sad, genderless creatures.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?

The most important lesson my mother taught me is to always make your man feel valued. He is your prince charming, and you should never take that for granted. Let him know he’s special to you, and make him feel like he’s always in charge. After all, you may pull the strings behind the scenes, but he doesn’t have to know 😉

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?

If I were shipwrecked on a desert island, I would want to take my makeup. Because even if times are tough, I don’t have to look it. Beauty can, and should, still exist in even the most desperate of circumstances.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?

What sacrifices have I made? What haven’t I sacrificed? I’ve sacrificed time, social opportunities, money to buy dresses and jewels, and most of all, I’ve sacrificed some of my golden years in pursuit of this crown so I can make the world a better place. And I don’t regret a minute of that time. Because the Miss Glamouresse crown is all I’ve ever wanted. Well, that and a rich husband 😉

What IS Pageant?

Pageant is not a drag show; it’s a wacky display of mind, body and spirit. Just as male actors in Shakespearean times took on Juliet and Beatrice, we have embodied the world of beauty queens. It’s just like Shakespeare, right? OK, maybe a little more spray tan and glitter, but I promise in no time at all you’ll forget that each lady has “Something Extra.”

These “women” pull out all the stops as they vie for your vote in a good old-fashioned beauty pageant. The audience has a role to play, too. Lucky for you, it doesn’t involve shaving or double-sided tape; all it requires is cheering and applause. Through this, you have the power to change the course of this performance by choosing which could-be-beauty-queen takes home the crown.

Expect a show that’s unlike yesterday’s or tomorrow’s, and, whether it be based on their talent, personality, beauty, salesmanship or any combination thereof, rooting for your favorite gal is encouraged and will affect the outcome! You choose the winner!

Give in to our hilarious competition and may the best (your favorite) contestant win! “Who will it be?”

Seth Tucker
Director / Choreographer

Jason Simon, star of Shrek, thanks ABT patrons for support

From Jason:

For those that weren’t there [Saturday, August 6]… In the opening number of the matinee performance, I had a trip and bad landing coming down some steps. Immediately I crumpled to the ground in pain. The show was stopped, and I was helped off the stage and taken to the hospital. And after a short break, my amazing cast went on to give what I’m sure was a phenomenal performance.

The verdict is in and, sadly, it’s not the one I was hoping for. But it’s also not the worst thing in the world either! It looks like I will require surgery to put my knee back together followed by a lengthy (read as around 9 months) rehab process. This is by no means ideal for anyone but definitely not insurmountable either! I’m being consistently inspired by our US Olympians when I see them and other athletes compete on the world’s biggest stage with a great deal of them having overcome similar injuries. All I can think is, “Well, I just want to be able to sing and dance again. It’s not like I’m going to try for a gold medal in four years!”

Thank you again for all of the love and support during this time! It’s appreciated more than you know!

Pageant Calendar Information

Pageant

WHAT: Six wo(men). Five judges. One crown. 

The screamingly funny Pageant takes you where no beauty pageant has ever taken you before! Six contestants compete for the prestigious title of Miss Glamouresse, and the audience picks the winner, so no performance is ever the same! Here’s the twist – the contestants vying for the title are men! They’ll don swimsuits and gowns and compete in some of the most hilarious talent competitions ever on a pageant stage. It’s Miss America meets Kinky Boots as ABT brings pageantry to Peoria!

Conceived by Robert Longbottom with Book & Lyrics by Bill Russell and Frank Kelly and Music by Albert Evans. ABT’s adaptation will feature local favorites including ABT’s Assoc. Artistic Director, Kurtis W. Overby as Miss Texas, and bring back Seth Tucker – Harry in ABT’s Lucky Stiff – as Director/Choreographer and as Miss West Coast. Musical Direction will be provided Lizzie Hatfield, an ABT veteran last heard in ABT’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel earlier this year. Set Direction provided by Geoffrey Eroe, who created the set design for ABT’s recent production of Rock of Ages.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit azbroadway.org or contact the Arizona Broadway Theatre box office at (623) 776-8400.

 

WHERE:

Arizona Broadway Theatre
7701 W. Paradise Lane
Peoria AZ 85382

BOX OFFICE:

(623) 776-8400
Monday: 10 a.m. – 5 PM
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 PM
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 PM

SHOW DATES:

August 26 – September 18, 2016

CURTAIN TIMES:

Tuesday – Friday: 7:30 PM
Thursday: 2 PM (August 8 & 15)
Saturday: 2 PM and 7:30 PM
Sunday:    2 PM and 7:30 PM
Sept. 9: After Dark Cabaret at 10:30 pm