Miss Firecracker Contest
"The Miss Firecracker Contest" by Beth Henley. This hilarious comedy begins in a small Mississippi town of Brookhaven a few days before the Fourth of July. Carnelle Scott (known locally as "Miss Hot Tamale") is rehearsing furiously for the Miss Firecracker Contest—hoping that a victory will salvage her tarnished reputation and allow her to leave town in a blaze of glory. The unexpected arrival of her cousin, Elaine, a former Miss Firecracker winner, complicates matters a bit, as does the repeated threat of Elaine's eccentric brother, Delmount (who was recently released from a mental institution) to sell the family homestead and decamp for New Orleans. But, aided by a touchingly awkward seamstress named Popeye (who is hopelessly smitten by Delmount) and several other cheerfully nutty characters, Carnelle perseveres—leading to a denouement of unparalleled hilarity, compassion and moving lyricism as all concerned finally escape their unhappy pasts and turn hopefully toward what must surely be a better future.
The play is directed by Jay Geller of Kildeer, with set design by Brenda Brockland of Crystal Lake, costume design by Tish Lyon, lighting design by Rick Amundsen, both of Woodstock, set painting by David "Doc"Lindquist of Crystal Lake, hair styles by Maggie McCord of Crystal Lake, stage manager Charlotte Wilson of Huntley and assistant stage manager Kacie Swanson of Woodstock. The cast includes Rachel Johnson of Marengo, Sally Weiss and Travis Cooper of McHenry, Ingrid Franca of Huntley, Matt Lucchetti of Crystal Lake, and Kate Hein of Algonquin.
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