Gloucester Stage Company kicks off the summer season with its spring gala — a musical performance and dinner dance, featuring three Misses America whose reigns span four decades.
The June 1 event takes place at Bass Rocks Golf Club in Gloucester with the Misses America of 1948, 1955, and 1981 — Bebe (Shopp) Waring of Rockport, Lee Meriwether, and Susan Powell, respectively.
"It is a sisterhood and we all know each other well," said Waring who serves as president of the Gloucester Stage Company board of directors.
Waring said they are often asked how the pageant has changed through the years and each will give a synopsis on their experience. Waring also said she will bring her infamous swim suit from 1948.
"Then we will do our song and dance," she said.
The trio of beauty queens will perform "Miss America Sisters," a song written for the pageant by the composer Bernie Wayne, who wrote "There She Is, Miss America." Meriwether had contacted the composer's widow to ask for special permission to perform it at the Gloucester Stage benefit event. She agreed.
The connections among the beauty queens run deep.
In the fall of 2009, Waring and Powell traveled to the war zone in Afghanistan as part of a contingent on a friendship mission to visit U.S. troops. Instead of being fitted for gowns, they were fitted for 50 pounds of body armor.
Waring and Meriwether have been friends for even longer.
After the three perform, the stage will be turned over to Powell, a musical theater and television personality. Powell, who hails from Elk City, Okla., hosted "Home Matters," a series on the The Discovery Channel, for nine seasons.
She is also a talented vocalist, and has performed in theaters, opera houses and concert halls throughout the United States. She made her operatic debut as Adele in "Die Fledermaus" with the Seattle Opera and debuted at the New York City Opera as Johanna in Harold Prince's production of "Sweeney Todd."
Meriwether will be part of another special event at Gloucester Stage when she stars in "The Women of Spoon River" for a three-day stint, from June 2 to 4. The show is based on Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology," a collection of epitaph poems published in 1915.
Gail McCarthy may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3445 or email@example.com.
If you go
What: Gloucester Stage spring gala.
When: Friday, June 1, at 7 p.m.
Where: Bass Rocks Golf Club at 34 Beach Road in Gloucester.
Special guests: Misses America of 1948, 1955, & 1981, Bebe (Shopp) Waring of Rockport, Lee Meriwether, and Susan Powell respectively.
Tickets: Call 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com for tickets.
Details: The event includes an open bar from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (cash bar after 8:30); hors d'oeuvres, a buffet dinner, dessert, and dancing to the rhythms of Cape Ann DJ George Francis.