At the 6th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant last night, we learned that vanity contests aren’t all about the swimsuit competition. Mr. Mamma Mia, aka Andrew Chappelle (left), might not have had the most bodybuilt physique—that’s not to say his pecs weren’t superb—but he dazzled the crowd with a stand-up comedy routine in the talent portion, and took the crown of Br. Broadway, to boot.
His stand-up was a rousing send-up of New York City girls who wear high heels, performed in a pair of glittering six-inch magenta stilettos.
Chappelle started off rowdily, joking that he was going to do his special talent of “encouraging two sea turtles to mate,” but decided against it. “I want to show you the true girth of my knowledge,” he said of his expertise on high-heels. “And I am a top in my field.”
Once Chappelle broke out the heels, he started a slapstick routine about “girls on a budget” who stuff a “size 10 biscuit into a size 8 pump… Your feet are going to come out of those with nasty bunions, smelling like onions, and crusty like Funyuns.”
The other contestants—from the Broadway ensembles of Porgy and Bess, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Godspell, and Mary Poppins—mostly relied on their spectacularly built bodies and a combination of song and dance. They may have wooed host Tovah Teldshuh and celebrity judges Michael Musto, Jackie Hoffman, and Tonya Pinkins, but the audience was solidly in Chappelle’s corner.
The event benefits one of New York’s greatest causes: the Ali Forney Center, which provides 79 beds nightly, as well as daytime services, for homeless LGBT youth around the city. It’s a cause that anyone with a heart can get behind.
The AFC’s executive director, Carl Siciliano, gave a touching speech in the middle of the pageant, saying he feels the AFC’s mission is different from more political gay organizations who focus on “eradicating homophobia” because the AFC seeks to “balance it out.”
“The reality is that thousands of parents kick their kids out of their homes for being gay, and end up desperate and destitute,” said Siciliano. “I feel like the AFC is a cathedral rising out of our LGBT community, because everything we’re doing is about love. Funding us is an act of love. And all we want is for the kids who stay with us to be able to love themselves.”
Photos via Gustavo Monroy