'Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant' Petronella J. Ytsma


Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant

Every Thu., Fri., and Sat. from June 14-July 27
7:30 p.m.
Every Sun. from June 16-July 28
2 p.m.
Every Tue. and Wed. from June 18-19
7:30 p.m.

Local playwright/composer Keith Hovis’ Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant presents a perverse perspective in which thwarted ambition can be traced to one catastrophic event: the cessation of a small-town’s children’s talent competition. Having been a contender for the coveted tiara of Junior Champion prior to the event’s shuttering (due to a contestant dying onstage), Frannie Foster Wallace has spent the past two decades lamenting her stolen glory. When she’s presented with a chance to revive the contest with the surviving adult competitors (who are now in their 30s), Frannie seizes the opportunity. Such is the farcical narrative that made its debut in an abridged form at the 2017 Fringe Festival. In reimagining the work as a full-length musical, Hovis has not only added a compelling score, but deepened the characterizations to better empathize with the absurd efforts to escape from frustrating routines. Reuniting the original Fringe cast under the direction of Laura Leffler, this rollicking blend of satire and sentiment might just take the crown for the most original musical of the summer season.