Audience Decides Winner of Little Miss Glitz
A Vancouver jukebox musical returns to the stage with a new original score, but the old unpredictable ending.
Reported by Cameron Thomson
A musical parody of child beauty pageants is returning to Vancouver with a new cast, new score and new ending for every performance.
After the locally created Little Miss Glitz premiered in 2016, Too Fly Productions approached composer Christopher King to transform it from a jukebox musical—where all the songs are popular, pre-written hits— into an originally scored performance where the audience decides the winner of every pageant.
“The challenging thing when there is lots of shouting it to make sure people can still hear the lyrics clearly,” said King of the high level of audience participation. “You don’t want the message to get lost amongst the crazy yelling.”
Playwright Alan Pronger said the biggest challenge in writing Little Miss Glitz was to write endings that would allow the lead character to have a neutral reaction, regardless of the outcome.
“I didn’t want the message of the show to be ‘oh this form of beauty is really the right one… I wanted to show that really the outcomes of these pageants are completely arbitrary.”
According to Pronger, the show emulates the experience of child beauty pageants, as the audience yells commands like show-Mom’s do in real life to their competing children.
Grace Newson, 26, plays Heather Butterfry and at one point in the show goes up to audience members who have been selected to judge the pageant.
“You get some people who are really into it, but for others it really pushes them outside their comfort zone.”
But for Newson, who also has to improvise her dance routine during the talent show for every performance, discomfort is the point of the performance.
It keeps it interesting and it keeps engaged because nobody knows what’s going to happen, so we’re all sort of looking at each other and reacting to each others reactions,” Newson said.
“It is a parody, mainly just to entertain people and make them laugh but also shine a little light on how ridiculous that whole world is.”