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


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 or contact the Arizona Broadway Theatre box office at (623) 776-8400.



Arizona Broadway Theatre
7701 W. Paradise Lane
Peoria AZ 85382


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


August 26 – September 18, 2016


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


Monday Night Concerts Lined Up Through April 2017

Concerts take the stage on Monday nights at 7:30pm at ABT, and early seating for dinner is at 5:30pm.  There’s something for everyone!

Oktoberfest featuring THE CHARDON POLKA BAND

October 17

Join ABT for the sounds of The Chardon Polka Band at an Oktoberfest event. The Chardon Polka Band is a group that brings new life and energy to polka. While the group has an extensive catalogue of traditional music, they are not afraid to bring their own tunes into the mix along with polka-pop covers of artists like Justin Bieber and Lady Ga Ga.



November 7, 2016

Celebrate the life and music of Johnny Cash with this critically acclaimed concert production featuring the most popular songs from his nearly 50-year career. Starring national touring artist Robert Shaw and his Lonely Street Band playing your favorite Cash hits – from the early days of “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line” on through the decades, including “Ring of Fire,” “A Boy Named Sue,” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”



December 5, 2016

The vintage sounds of the Big Band era come alive in A Big Band Christmas. Join host John Eth, former member of The Glenn Miller Orchestra, as he leads this 16 piece big band playing the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Benny Goodman, and more!



December 19, 2016

This heart-warming show is a holiday salute to Elvis and features some of The King’s best loved holiday favorites, mixed in with a healthy dose of top hits from throughout his career.



January 16, 2017

A third-generation country musician/singer/songwriter, Dean Simmons began his career as a tribute artist in 1994.  Star of AXS TV’s World’s Greatest Tribute Bands and the world famous Legends in Concert, Dean presents a respectful and incredibly accurate tribute to country music icon Garth Brooks.



January 23, 2017

From ABBA’s earliest hits to “Mamma Mia,” ABBAFAB will take you on a technicolor journey that is unmatched. These vocalists and musicians have toured the world as solo artists and band members and have come together to create the most entertaining ABBA tribute on the market today!



January 30, 2017

Back by popular demand, ‘The Rat Pack of Opera’ return to ABT with a brand new show for their 2017 US tour.  Join Tenors Un Limited on a musical whirlwind from ‘Venice To Vegas,’ featuring some of the best-loved songs from the worlds of opera, musical theatre and pop.  Fantastic vocals mixed with a wicked sense of humor make this a brilliant night out!



February 13, 2017

Heritage, history, and some good ol’ western tunes. For over 80 years the Sons of the Pioneers have been proud to perform the music of the American West celebrating the West, its awesome landscape, its people, its culture and the American Cowboy. Journey through the west with their classics, including “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”, “Cool Water,” “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” and so many more!



February 14, 2017

Bring your valentine to ABT for a romantic evening out.



February 20, 2017

The name says it all! Diamond Rocks celebrates the magnificent songs and aura of one of the most influential American artists of our time – the one and only Neil Diamond!



February 27, 2017

Whitney Houston’s powerful anthems and eternal glamour come to life in this one-of-a-kind staged concert recreation! With a voice that mirrors the call and beauty of Ms. Houston herself, Jade Milian is a dynamic vocalist whose commanding stage presence will have you on the edge of your seat – just as Whitney did so many times over her award-winning career.



March 20, 2017

Paperback Writer takes the audience on a trip through the musical years of the world’s most popular rock group of all time! Hear the hits from the Ed Sullivan Show through the colorful Sgt. Pepper years and on to the rooftops of “Let It Be” performed with the spot on vocal, look and sound alike ability of the Beatles.



March 27, 2017

The music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons comes to life in this one-of-a-kind concert experience. December ’63 showcases all your favorite songs from Frankie Valli including the classics that have been thrilling audiences for decades along with the most popular singles from the Broadway blockbuster musical, The Jersey Boys. This re-creation of a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons concert will have you reaching for the high notes as our cast and band take you on a musical journey with stops at every phase of the careers of Frankie and the boys!



April 3, 2017

Join One of These Nights as they take you on their version of a hit-filled show featuring the music of the Eagles, one of the most successful rock acts of all time. Our show takes the audience on a journey through all the Eagles’ ‘sounds’, from tasteful country rock, complete with full harmonies, to hard rocking tunes that highlight the Eagles’ extraordinary catalogue.


Behind The Scenes of Shrek The Musical: Dragon Tales

Shrek The Musical

We are proud to announce Shrek the Musical Dragon Tails as an upcoming production to run from July through August. Shrek The Musical was on Broadway from 2008 to 2010, receiving eight Tony nominations and winning one Tony for Best Costume Design.

Shrek The Musical Cast

The cast and crew at Arizona Broadway Theatre are hard at work preparing the upcoming production to run July 15-August 14.  One of the behind the scenes stories to tell is of the ferocious female dragon that Donkey encounters.  The dragon initially wants to eat Donkey, but he manages to charm her.  Later, Shrek and Fiona meet back up with Donkey and the three must escape the angry dragon.

Shrek The Musical

ABT’s cast practices with the dragon.

Shrek The Musical

Our very own Cassandra Klaphake plays the dragon. Here she is in the recording studio lending her voice to the character.

Stage Set For 2016/2017 Season

Single Tickets On Sale July 16 With Open House and Cyber Week Deals

Arizona Broadway Theatre is ready to shine during the 2016/17 season, the dinner theatre’s 12th year as Arizona’s leader in musical theatre. Season 12 features familiar titles with something for everyone: Funny Girl, A Christmas Story, Camelot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oliver!, Beauty and the Beast, Saturday Night Fever and Hands on a Hardbody. Tickets go on sale to the public July 16, 2016.

In addition to the musicals featured in the 2016/2017 Season, ABT presents a spectacular lineup of concerts and special engagement productions. The ABT Concert Series features tribute shows sure to thrill the West Valley audience. And, Church Basement Ladies and Menopause will bring the laughs for the ladies during special engagements at the theatre.

“Arizona Broadway Theatre has something for everyone with our new season of mainstage productions, special events and concerts,” said Barbara Schifano, the theatre’s Director of Business Development. “We’re proud to offer an array of concerts, including the stellar tribute shows Rod Stewart in July, Those British Girls in August, Chardon Polka Band in October, and Man in Black in November, with more titles to be announced.

Tickets for the Theatre’s 2016/17 Season go on sale to the general public on Monday, July 16, 2016, at 10 a.m. For special offers and a tour of the theatre, plan ahead to attend an Open House on Saturday, July 16, from 8-11am. Or take advantage of Cyber Week July 16-24 when online convenience fees will be waived, saving $5 per ticket. Tickets may be purchased in person, by calling the box office at (623) 776-8400, or by purchasing tickets online.

Here’s a look at the Theatre’s 2016/17 Mainstage productions:

Funny Girl – October 14-November 13, 2016

A Christmas Story – November 25-December 28, 2016

Camelot – January 13-February 11, 2017

Jesus Christ Superstar – March 17-April 16, 2017

Oliver – April 28-May 21, 2017

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – June 2-July 2, 2017

Saturday Night Fever – July 21-August 20, 2017

Hands on a Hardbody – September 1-24, 2017


Single tickets for remaining Season 11 productions, concerts and special engagements, as we as Season 12 subscriptions are on sale now. Get tickets now for:

Shrek The Musical – July 15-August 14, 2016

Pageant – July 15-August 14, 2016

Concert Series

Enjoy evenings of great tribute music and food at ABT:

 Church Basement Ladies – September 22-October 2, 2016

Menopause – February 16-March 3, 2017

To purchase tickets, visit the box office or call (623) 776-8400. To purchase tickets online, visit

ABT and Herberger Theater Center Partner to Present A Christmas Carol This Holiday Season

Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) and Herberger Theater Center (HTC) extend their partnership, announced earlier this year, by co-presenting A Christmas Carol on Center Stage at HTC  December 10 – 24. Valley audiences will delight in the opportunity to see this classic tale set to music at their favorite downtown venue by popular West Valley theatre company ABT. Tickets go on sale to the general public on July 16, 2016, at

Kiel Klaphake (l) and Mark Mettes (r) celebrate the partnership of ABT and HTC.

Kiel Klaphake (l) and Mark Mettes (r) celebrate the partnership of ABT and HTC.

“We are excited and proud to partner with ABT to bring this spirited musical production to family audiences in downtown Phoenix during the holiday season,” says Mark Mettes, HTC’s President and CEO. “With ABT’s vast experience bringing quality musicals to life, this full-scale production made possible through our partnership is sure to delight theatergoers of all ages.”

ABT produced A Christmas Carol on stage in Peoria in 2015 and will bring this hugely successful version with an unexpected and uplifting twist to HTC for the enjoyment of Valley audiences. ABT CEO and Executive Producer Kiel Klaphake shares the excitement of Mettes, “As the leading musical theatre producer in the state, we are delighted to bring our bold approach to this premier venue. We have long sought a partnership with an arts organization that has the leadership of HTC and a respected position in the community for advancing performing arts in the Valley. We look forward to a long relationship.”