Ultimately, the most interesting thing about Pageant is its subtext--men portraying women competing in a patriarchal, sexist, looks-based contest that devalues females--but on the surface, there's little commentary on misogyny or the objectification of women. Pageant is a real beauty pageant full of unreal and not particularly beautiful contestants that wears out its welcome about halfway through. But I defy you to look away.
Pageant continues through Sunday, August 9, at the Herberger Theater, 222 East Monroe. For more information, see the Stages listing.