Eyelashes, Glitter & Tucking: The Pageant Contestants Talk Transformations & Inspirations
July 15th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
If you’re a fan of the cult comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous or if you’ve ever DVRed an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, then run, don’t walk over the Davenport Theatre to see the sidesplitting revival of Pageant. The musical follows six beauty pageant contestants competing to be this year’s Miss Glamouresse, and the catch is all six of the lovely ladies are played by super talented men in drag. The women compete in swimsuit, talent, evening gown and personality competitions, and the audience chooses a new winner every night—meaning you get to be the Michelle Visage. Below, we caught up with five of the six Pageant contestants to find out: at what moment do you feel your transformation into your female character is complete, and what famous lady are you channeling on the runway?
Nick Cearley (Miss Great Plains)
“Mine is eyelashes, and I am giving Judith Light—a good combination of Who’s The Boss and Judith today. Because Miss Great Plains is the most underqualified to be here—she didn’t win or place to be here—so I feel like she’s just here having the best day of her life. And she’s a soccer mom type, like Judith Light in Who’s The Boss.”
Nic Cory (Miss Industrial Northeast)
“My transformation to Miss Industrial Northeast is complete when I line my lips with Cholula hot sauce. And I am channeling Miss Chile 1987. Her name is Cecilia Bolocco; she became a television personality in the ‘90s, hosted Miss Universe, and I’m obsessed with her.”
Alex Ringler (Miss Texas)
“For me, it’s the physical transformation. I’m in the yellow dress that weighs 20 pounds, I have 20 pounds of makeup on as well (so that’s 40 pounds on top of everything that’s already there), and the big, big wig—the higher the hair the closer to God. And once I see it complete, I’m like, ‘There she is.’ I feel like I’m giving a combination of Honey Boo Boo because she started off when she was six, a little bit of Suzanne Sugarbaker with the flaming batons and then just every pageant girl that ever was. Miss Texas is the professional that has been doing it for years; so it’s an homage to every pageant girl at every age.”
Seth Tucker (Miss West Coast)
“Mine is glitter, and I’m a little bit of Sherie Rene Scott in Debbie Does Dallas or Suzanne Somers in Three’s Company.”
Curtis Wiley (Miss Bible Belt)
“My transformation isn’t complete until I’ve tucked, honestly. I arrive an hour and half prior, and the makeup is done, the wig is done and the last thing I do is the tuck; and it’s the last thing because it’s the worst thing. Whatever you think about tucking, it’s worse than you think it is. There are a few people that come to mind, but the one that is always with me is Jenifer Lewis. I love her. Her comedy is spot on! The thing I love about her is her career spans decades and decades—she’s always worked; she’s always been busy—but she can still walk down the street.”
Don’t miss your chance to select 2014’s new Miss Glamouresse at ‘Pageant,’ playing Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at the Davenport Theatre.