In honor of Black History Month, best-selling author, star of lifetime's "Any Day Now," human Right Advocate, daughter of Civil Rights leader Ralph Abernathy, and goddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., Donzaleigh Abernathy (www.donzaleighabernathy.com), joined an impressive list of celebrity judges including Debra Skelton - Eight years starring on "Mad TV," soon to be seen in James Cameron's movie "Avatar." Fumi Desalu - First International Super Model from West Africa. Fred Travalena - "The Entertainer of a Thousand Faces," who recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at "The Miss African American Princess Pageant Variety Show."
"The Miss African American Princess Pageant" took place at the Acme Theatre on Sunday February 15. This hilarious pageant spoof was written, directed, and produced by TV Host Paul Ryan, who cast eight actresses to portray the pageant finalists. The audience and celebrity judges both voted and decided on the pageant winner (celebrity judges votes count for 50% and the other 50% on the voting audience), Amber Nicole Bartleby, portrayed by actress Aliza Pearl. The audience was captivated by her "Popera" performance in which she combined opera with Beyonce's latest hit. Aliza, along with the other monthly winners will compete in the year-end finals to be held in the summer of 2009.
This original pageant spoof launched with "Miss Southern Belle Princess Pageant" and follow-up pageants included "Mr. Gay Prince," "Miss Lesbian Princess," "Miss Asian Princess," "Miss Jewish Princess," "Miss Playmate Princess," and "Miss Plus Size Princess." Upcoming pageants include, "Miss Senior Princess," "Miss Latina Princess," "Miss European Princess," and "Miss Drag Queen."
Previous judges include Estelle Harris, "Seinfeld" and Emmy winning writer Bruce Vilanch. This fantastically funny event launched on May 4th with the "Miss Southern Belle Pageant" with International variety and recording artists performing in each show.
All seven of the previous pageants are on: www.youtube.com/paulryanproductions.com
This hilarious mock-u-pageant variety show is a new hybrid production with TV Host Paul Ryan hosting a new themed pageant on the first Sunday night of every month, with seven talented actresses portraying the seven different finalists. The audience and celebrity judges will decide on the winner of "The Miss African-American Princess Pageant" and that finalist, along with the eleven other monthly winners will compete in the year-end finals to be held in May 2009.
Paul Ryan has hit a home run with his latest mock beauty contest at the acme comedy theatre. Assembled in this most entertaining production is a group young ladies who display talent galore interwoven with originality that makes this show a memorable gem of an experience.the contestant who presented pop opera has a beautiful trained voice that brilliantly combines pop with operatic tones in a most inspiring fashion.she deserved to win the top award and did. she was surrounded with seven super participants, all winners in their own way by creating and developing characters in the play that leave you loving and laughing all the way.
This wonderful event should be held over and repeated. It was magic in the theatre. bravo. bravo.
Photo Credits: GIL BENZEEVI
Winner and runner ups with Judges and Host
Winner, Aliza Pearl, and host Paul Ryan
Runner ups and winner, Aliza Pearl, and honored guest judge Donzaleigh Abernathy