"And the Winner Is. . ."
Composed by Daniel Steven Crafts, Libretto by Thomas B. Woodward
The opera opens as Tony, the host of the Ms. American Beauty Pageant, wrestles with the self-doubts brought about possible imminent success in his aria "It's Every Man's Dream."
As the aria ends, the next to last contestant in the pageant, Ms. Tennessee, comes on stage with her puppet to perform her Talent part of the pageant. As she begins the duet, "Dove il mio orecchio," her puppet, given voice by an off-stage tenor, joins her in the romantic (and highly comic) duet.
During the following commercial break, the pageant's final contestant, Bobbie Wentworth joins Tony in the wings as both wait to go onstage. There is an instant chemistry between the two and they quickly begin flirting with one another. The flirting escalates until the two are on camera and Tony asks Bobbie when she first became interested in the Ms. American Pageant and receives an answer he doesn't expect.
As Tony attempts to establish order, Bobbie continues to break taboos – as when she notes that her real talent for the pageant is not her baton twirling act, but hiding her disability. In her aria, "Sing an Inspiring New Song," she wonders "Wouldn't it be wonderful if Ms. American of 2011 and Ms. Disability of 2011 were the same person?"
The shocks and surprises continue as the Pageant moves from chaos to inspiration and then romance. Having won each other's affections, Bobbie blows kisses to the television audience as Tony helps her offstage.
For production information, contact Tom Woodward, 13 Calle Loma, Santa Fe, NM 87507. For information about Mr. Crafts, see his web site: www.dscrafts.net.