Angels All in a Row
A Midwestern beauty pageant is the occasion of this satire. The casual veneer of imbecility is removed with various devices. Kelly, for instance, does a memorable turn of intellectualizing hopes and dreams. The contestants beside the pool and gathered around a piano for a rehearsal there (the pageant’s welcoming song) are all but nude in bikini mufti.
Black draws the point in a number of stratagems meant to affright the Miss Chrysanthemums, such as the spider who sat down beside her, a bulbous lamp punctured by a bullet, a sandbag cut loose and dropped upon the stage, bursting.
A member of the board is blackmailed. “For a man whose fried clam franchise is goin’ t’ the dogs fer want o’ cold hard cash, you sure dance a lot.” Another is assailed in an elevator and lashes out with her handbag fiercely.
Last year’s winner is a Wagnerian soprano from the old country, she offers to sing her aria again, wearing her horns.