Dustin Lewis: Pageant, The Musical

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Pageant, The Musical is perfect for those of you that love musicals, pageants and spoofs (or at least two out of the three).  Making its Atlanta debut next week at the 14th Street Playhouse, Pageant has had successful runs all over the world… but never in the cradle of the pageant circuit, the deep south.  A word or two with the show’s producer, Dustin Lewis, on pageants, Midtown and spoofs…

Q. Pageant is playing at the 14th Street Playhouse.  What do you love about Midtown Atlanta?

A. There are many things I love about our Midtown Atlanta area. First of course is the Woodruff Arts Center. This makes Midtown the cultural hub of the city with all the theatre, art and the symphony right in one place. I also love the fact that you really don’t have to leave Midtown with so many wonderful restaurants, shopping, spas, parks and hotels within walking distance and if you want to travel to any other part of the city, you can just jump on one of the Marta stations right at Midtown or Arts Center Station. There is a really diverse buzz to Midtown with all types of people and places to experience. Something for everyone.

Q. What do you love about living in Atlanta?

A. Our city is truly a melting pot of history, arts and culture, and commerce. We have every type of person and business you can image but yet it still keeps it southern tradition with out making visitors feel “”out of place””. You can walk down the street in Atlanta and people will shoot you a smile and mean it.

Q. Have you ever been to a pageant before?

A. Not only have I been to a pageant but last year I was asked to be a judge at my local hometown pageant in IL. It was a lot of fun! I ended up judging with some friends from my high school days. The excitement you feel at a pageant is really unique. It is very different than other competitions. You can tell that the ladies really want to win but at the same time care for each other and support the person standing next to them. It is interesting to see the investment these ladies put in for just one night. Most of the time they are wanting win so they get the chance to  represent their town and/or community and I think that is really commendable.

Q. Favorite Atlanta neighborhood?

A. I of course love Midtown where Pageant: The Musical will be making its home but  the other neighborhood would have to be Little Five Points. The atmosphere is just laid back and welcoming with such great little restaurants and music venues and theaters. The shopping is just fantastic with thrift stores, boutiques and one of a kind shops that you just don’t find anywhere else. I think everyone that visits the city must go to Little Five Points.

Q. You meet someone who tells you that they don’t like musicals.  What makes Pageant special, and why should they drop their preconceived notions and buy a ticket?

A. Pageant is not just a musical spoof of beauty pageants. It is really a competition!  Having different judges every night pulled from the audience, no one knows who is going to win!  The fun thing about the show is that the actors actually have a competition between them. Even at our first rehearsal, the actors started  talking about “”who is going to win the most”” and a friendly competition has begun between us.

The female roles are played by men which really takes the characters to a different level. You take the “”female”” stereotypes out of box and you are allowed to laugh at these characters more freely. It is really just an evening of laugh after laugh and everyone needs that. It is just a really good time!

The Atlanta debut of the show begins on Wednesday, August 25 at 14th Street Playhouse and the show will run through October 24, Wednesdays through Sundays with double shows on Saturdays and a matinee performance on Sundays.  Tickets are available now at 14th Street Playhouse box office (173 14th Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30309-3838, (404) 733-4738).  You can find more info on the show and all the “contestants” at www.pageantatlanta.com.  You can also follow “the crown” on Twitter @PageantAtlanta or like us on Facebook.

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