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Pageant winner has Las Vegas fairy-tale story

The Martins of Las Vegas continue to live life’s rich pageant.

The latest chapter in Molly Martin’s princess story played out Sunday at Westgate’s International Theater, when the 16-year-old incoming junior at Green Valley High School won the Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen competition.

Martin joined the new Miss Nevada, Nasya Mancini, a student at Dixie State University in Utah. Miss America will be crowned Sept. 9 in Atlantic City, N.J. Miss America Outstanding Teen’s finals are July 27 in Orlando, Fla.

Those who frequent the Las Vegas entertainment scene know the pageant culture is in Martin’s DNA. We’ve known her parents for decades. Her father is Myron Martin, the president at The Smith Center. Her mom, Dana Martin, was for years the principal singer in “Jubilee!” at Bally’s. She won the 1983 Miss Texas pageant as Dana Rogers and finished in the top 10 of the national pageant the year Vanessa Williams won the crown. Williams had her title rescinded after nude photos of her surfaced in Penthouse.

Myron and Dana later met while judging the 1999 Miss Texas pageant in Fort Worth — on July 4, 20 years ago, as it turns out — and were married the next April. They have since divorced, but sat side-by-side as Molly competed and won the crown. She had not competed in a pageant before winning Miss Las Vegas Outstanding Teen in January.

“Dana and I were very careful to let this all be about Molly,” Myron Martin said. “Sitting there, watching this, my gosh, when it came down to two, then they announced the first runner-up and we knew Molly had won, it’s a feeling I can’t describe.”

As an epilogue to the event, Molly sang a song, “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from the musical “Hairspray.” Friends of the family got a kick out of that — Myron Martin co-produced that show at Luxor for a short-lived run in 2006.

“Not many people got that, but it was great to hear her sing it,” Martin says. “We’ll see where it all leads. Molly is studying musical theater and if nothing else, we all really enjoyed this, and I’m sure that Molly has made some friends for life.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contacthim at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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