FringeTastic: The Miss Teen Jesus Pageant

By Olivia Munk12th Grade, Bronx High School of Science A show entitled The Miss Teen Jesus Pageant, complete with a promise of sacrilege and drag queens, surely sets out to delightfully offend but amuse. Unfortunately, every aspect of the show fell short of these aims. The gist of The Miss Teen Jesus Pageant (or at least what I was able to surmise during my 90 minutes of confusion), is that dads Jonathan and David, who run a failing flower shop employing a ragtag team of drag queens, set out to rig a religious pageant so that their inexplicably homophobic daughter Lucy may attend Southern Methodist University. They employ the help of a horny televangelist yearning to get out from under his father’s shadow and into the young contestants’ pants. Supposedly, hilarious madness and mayhem ensues. Oh, and at random intervals the audience is treated to lip-synched Christian rock. And a Jewish hymn. The acting in the production is weak at best, with little to no character development. Lines and cues were dropped, and awkwardly choreographed dance scenes only added to the discomfort. Anne Laffoon, who portrayed the creepy preacher The Dr. Reverend Faltwell, Jr., was the only salvation for the show. And even then I was thoroughly confused as to why the role had to be played by a woman. The premise of the book could be salvaged after many, many, rewrites, and tighter direction. Attempts at shock, such as the dildo permanently shoved down one actress’ pants, left an air of tackiness, as such jokes were referred to over and over again. Costume use was haphazard, as was the random Christian-themed karaoke music. If you’re looking for a good time at a Fringe show and choose to see “The Miss Teen Jesus Pageant, you’re asking for a miracle. TICKETS