Mascara and Tiaras

Article Published: Jul. 21, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Mascara and Tiaras

Anyone who has witnessed an episode of the TLC television show, "Toddlers and Tiaras," knows that the world of beauty pageants, especially those devoted to elementary school aged girls, is filled with obsessive, bizarre parents.

Playwrights Matthew Wilkas and Mark Setlock have taken this already comical world and infused it with laugh-provoking wit in the new play, "Pageant Play."

Ensemble Stage will present the area debut of "Pageant Play" at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium July 29 through Aug. 14.

Wilkas and Setlcok wrote and produced the play three years ago, with four adult roles and no children, occasionally having pageant clothes fill in for the missing pageant queens.

The authors originally portrayed the two male characters, Bob and Bobby, while the two adult female characters are Pinky and Marge.

Critic Larry Murray wrote of the original production, "Exploring the totally twisted world of children's beauty pageants, writers Matthew Wilkas and Mark Setlock extract hundreds of laughs during the course of their creation, 'Pageant Play.'

"In other hands, this story about the creepy phenomenon of underage beauty queens could just as easily provoke outrage. Instead, the writers skirt the heart of the issue, preferring to make fun of these atrocious contests instead. People behaving badly are often funny, despite their obliviousness. During the evening, a few egos are bruised but no children are actually harmed.

"Like a trashy summer novel, it is captivating, amusing and diverting, provoking few upsetting thoughts, just laughs."

Tickets & Times

Tickets for the Ensemble Stage production of "Pageant Play" are $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, students and military personnel.

The stage show will be presented on Friday, July 29, at 7:30; Saturday, July 30, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 31, at 3:30 p.m.; Monday, Aug. 1, at 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 5, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 7, at 3:30 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 14, at 3:30 p.m.

For more information, or to order tickets, call (828) 414-1844 or (828) 919-1844 or visit

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