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Wednesday 08 October 2008

$15K prize pool for Queen of Universe show

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News Staff - 4th October 2008

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The total prize pool for this year's Queen of the Whole Universe 'queer beauty pageant' in Auckland is now worth over $15,000, confirms the event's creative director.

Shining in the spotlight: The Queen of the Whole Universe pageant

"The prize package now includes sponsorship from Pacific Blue with tickets to Australia for the winner and tickets to Christchurch or Wellington for the runners up," says Jonathan Smith, who promises this year's pageant – the fifth anniversary celebration – will be bigger than ever.

There'll be a record number of entertainers on stage this year at the Aotea Centre on Saturday 15 November for the HIV-fight fundraising event, including opera-singing star Helen Medlyn performing and TVOne newsreader Alison Mau confirmed as head judge.

"We're excited that there are so many new people involved this year, with several amazing new ideas for costumes," Smith tells

A few more cast members are needed for the event, with Smith saying no previous experience is required. "People can still be part of this amazing community event that is even featured in an American gay travel magazines as one of the top six posh events in the world this spring and summer."

Queen of the Whole Universe 'girls' can be male or female – and of any sexual orientation, Smith explains. "They must be able to commit to a strict rehearsal schedule which starts this Sunday. Rehearsals are every Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon, plus the evening technical and dress rehearsal on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 November, before the show on Saturday 15 November with a 4pm call time."

All cast members in Auckland's production will be invited to travel to Wellington for the first performance in the capital on Saturday 27 June 2009, with flights and accommodation costs covered through sponsorship.

Queen of the Whole Universe's Jonathan Smith can be contacted via email at