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* Barbara Ellestad, Publisher * ALL Content Copyright 2011-2014*
Claudia Nicholas was crowned Ms. Sr. Mesquite 2012 on Saturday, Mar. 31. Photo by Cindi Delaney, Delaney Studio.
All the jazz surrounding a typical beauty pageant was present Saturday afternoon, Mar. 31, as Claudia Nicholas was crowned Ms. Senior Mesquite 2012 at the Community Theatre.
"I was absolutely shocked to be crowned. I 'm honored and I'm happy," Nicholas remarked.
Dancing and singing to the familiar Broadway tune "All That Jazz," the spunky, petite Nicholas endeared herself to the capacity crowd in an afternoon that saw additional performances to rival those on Broadway.
Produced by Larry LeMieux who was assisted by Bunny Wiseman, the show was filled by Mesquite's versions of the Rat Pack, the Andrew Sisters, and dancers LeMieux and his wife Ava, and John Norwig and Jim Chatlin.
The 'Rat Pack' trio with John Chenoweth, Glennis Jones, and Brian Wursten, performed two cute numbers as did the 'Andrew Sisters' with Cathy Petrus, Karen Ransdell, and Felicia Rolfsmeyer.
Fellow pageant contestants Cheryl Beldin and Diane Wild rounded out the show that included Ms. Senior Mesquite Queens representing each year since 2005.
Nicholas, a part time Mesquite resident, who spends her summers in Idaho Falls, ID, sang professionally for 20 years in Los Angeles, CA, and taught Elementary Music in Idaho for 15 years. She is a Board member for the Idaho Falls Youth Arts Council.
The 69-year old essence of elegance also participated in three overseas tours for the USO, entertaining military troops in the Orient, Europe, the Mediterranean, and Vietnam in her earlier years.
"Initially, I decided I wanted to be part of the Community Theatre in Mesquite. I got involved in
the Ms. Senior Mesquite pageant when I sang for Larry and Kathy and they decided I should be in the pageant," is how she explained her entry into the annual crowning event.
"I'm going to take a deep breath now and work hard towards the State Pageant in August," Nicholas added later at the Queen's Reception held at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery. "We've lived in Mesquite for two years, spending our winters here. I've met so many wonderful people. It's a neat community."
Wild won the Ms. Congeniality Award and was also named the runner-up to the crown.
Aside from the crowning, the main entertainment dance number also included past crown winners, Jean Watkins (2005), Mary Jane Vandeweghe (2006), Karen Beausoleil (2007), Joni Robinson, (2008), Nila Lilienthal (2008), Janice Ramirez (2009) and the 2011 Queen Margaret Judkins. Ms Sr. Mesquite 2010 Susan Rosland made an earlier appearance.
Carole Fucillo, Ms. Senior Nevada 2011 put on an outstanding performance, dancing to the hit tune, "The Time of My Life," proving that age knows no boundaries.
Mark Buchanan and NonaMarie Miller made a repeat performance as co-emcees, keeping the show on an upbeat note throughout the afternoon. Dorothy Higgins and Geni Barton were co-presidents of this year's pageant.
Video Ms.SrMesquite2012-01(01) introduces the pageant contestants and shows the talent portion of the contest.
Video Ms.SrMesquite2012-03(01) features the Rat Pack and the beautiful dance number.
Video Ms.SrMesquite2012-05(01) includes Fucillo's dance number and the Andrews Sisters.
Video Ms.SrMesquite2012-07(01) is the crowning of Ms. Senior Mesquite 2012.
Posted Date: 04/03/2012 I love this town and love to be entertained.
So, I've supported several local theatrical events. At each one, I found myself squirming, while adults generally perform for themselves.
What is it about our small town that empowers these sub-talented displays of foolishness? The distance from home? The promise of a new more popular life?
For whatever, the cure may lie in a small towns scrutiny of itself.
For what happens in Mesquite, stays in Mesquite. By: plain ol Doug
Posted Date: 04/05/2012 How wonderful that these videos were posted for those of us that couldn't make it! It is still my proudest moment to have been crowned Ms. Sr. Mesquite in 2011, but Margaret Judkins has done a wonderful job - stepping in when I had to leave Mesquite. Keep up the great work ladies - WONDERFUL SHOW!!! By: jolene macrae