Glitz! – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Did you ever wonder about the mother and daughter combination personalities that motivate and sustain the beauty pageants of the world? Who is Honey Boo Boo and why does she claim the spotlight? Why do moms push their little girls into talent competitions and modeling gigs? If you were ever desirous of looking behind the velvet curtain, then now, in the spirit of holiday fun, let Pantochino Productions present you with “GLITZ! THE LITTLE MISS CHRISTMAS PAGEANT MUSICAL.”

Imagine “Toddlers and Tiaras” have come to life. The Milford Arts Council, 40 Railroad Avenue, Milford is awash in satin and tinsel as this original book and lyrics by Bert Bernardi, with music created by Justin Rugg, is joined with the imaginative costuming of Jimmy Johansmeyer and comes to entertaining life weekends until Saturday, December 22.

Get ready to meet a bevy of ambitious mothers who all believe in their heart of hearts that their little Suzy or Sandy is the best, brightest and most beautiful, not to mention talented, daughter in the whole wide world. Amen and Hallelujah.

Dale Allen’s Helen Haley and joyous daughter Hailey Ann (Annabel Wardman), Shelley Marsh Poggio’ s Mugsy Loren and darling Sophia (Sierra DiMartino), Mary Mannix’s Olivia Winerack and sweet Taylor (Brianna Jackson), Maria Berte’s Cheryl Spangler and twinkling daughter Barbie (Ainsley Novin) and Rachelle Ianniello’s Marybeth McCutcheon and offspring Goodness Gracious (Adele Horne) are all anxious to take home the ribbon and trophy that crowns their girl as best in show.

In this holiday favorite that pays homage to Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the pageant is run by an unscrupulous Shayde Shams, a less than honest Jimmy Johansmeyer whose name says it all. He is assisted by his DJ Justin Rugg and pageant matron Mrs. Glunchappen played by Valerie Solli.

Other contestants are Peighton Nash, Keira Degnan, Adrienne Crowley, Mikaela Franklin and Claire DeRosa while George Spelvin creates the choreography as Mister Jerry, Connor Rizzo plays Giovanni, a concerned brother, and Hazel Foley plays a prior beauty pageant winner, Donna Lisa Derringer.

Bert Bernardi directs a large cast of beauty winner wannabes and their pushy and frantic mamas as they all compete for the coveted title.

The pageant director claims the pageant is to benefit a charity for sick children, but he has every intention of pocketing all the proceeds for himself. Clearly Jimmy Johansmeyer’s sleazy Shayde, just like Scrooge in Dickens’ tale, needs to learn a lesson or three about being nice and not naughty.

Get into the Christmas spirit as this fiercely competitive talent show allows the mothers and daughters to learn the value of truth and honesty. Songs like “The Pageant Life Is For Me” and “My Daughter’s Better Than Yours” say it all, especially the confessional appeal of “I Want to be Like Valerie Bertinelli.”

For tickets ($22), contact Pantochino Productions online at info@pantochinoproductions.com. Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Pantochino proudly supports FOOD 2 KIDS, www.milfordfood2kids.org.

Take a bevy of little beauties, in ruffled socks and black patent leather shoes, add make-up and ambition and talent, sequins and spangles, and you have all the ingredients for an entertaining fun holiday happening.

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