Pageant near-perfect except for length

All told, the Junior Miss/Miss Teen/Miss Downey Pageant held last Saturday at the 750-seat Downey Theatre was, as the Brits would say, jolly good.Except for one or two minor hiccups, the program (the opening dance number, featuring the entire cast of contestants and choreographed by Onstage Dance Center's Liz Vega Gomez, the sportswear/business wear/formal wear presentations, the emotional farewells to the 2009 winners, the special vocal performance by Une who also served as one of the judges, and the award ceremony proper) were I thought well done. Noise from the already hootin' and hollerin' audience was cued by the emcee at the right moments, and noise-ear-splitting yelling from the family sitting behind me-was what I got, and I, a first-time spectator of the event, couldn't do anything about it. Nevertheless, I particularly enjoyed the sportswear competition: the contestants modeled tennis, golf, basketball, baseball, soccer, gymnastics, cheerleader, roller skates, equestrian, and kickboxing, tae kwondo, birdwatching, etc., wear, as well as camping, bee catcher, etc., paraphernalia to satisfy every taste-the outfits provided a cornucopia of colors, vivid, dazzling, even dizzying. I found out that the young girl contestants were capable of uttering mature ideas and values-a definite counterweight to the inanities all too often personified by many of today's youth. At the same time I saw disappointment that seemed to dance on the faces of some of the contestants who fell short of victory in their categories but who I'm sure felt good with themselves the following morning for having learned-just maybe-that failure isn't fatal and that you can't win 'em all. . In short, I liked what I saw, but the show (which lasted 5 hours 5 minutes) was too darned long!

********** Published: March 26, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 49