The Shannons’ Review ‘Priscilla Queen Of The Desert’
My wife Connie and I got to see Priscilla Queen Of The Desert recently and we came away raving! I had them in the studio during the Business Lunch, so make sure you check back for photos and video of the Divas from Priscilla!
Connie is a big fan of the original movie and expectations were high for the transformation to Broadway. We weren’t disappointed!
Finally a musical spectacular that flaunts its True Colors! PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT brings glitz, glam (and gams) to the Broadway stage in an unabashed celebration of what love, friendship and family are all about. If you know the movie, you will fall head over high heels for this production. And if you don’t, you will become one of the legions who have found Priscilla a sweet respite from a jaded world.
Leads Tony Sheldon (as Bernadette, the older “woman” ) , Will Swenson (Tick/Mitzi, the quickly middle aging performer coming to terms with his past) and Nick Adams (Adam/Felicia) who has the bravado of looks and talent plus the carefree attitude of one too inexperienced in life to care about consequences bring depth and excitement to their roles in many unexpected ways and costumes! As this trio makes its way across the Australian wasteland, their balance, and at times grating relationships, make them some of the stage’s most enduring characters. Oh by the way, the other lead character Priscilla: the bus is absolutely mesmerizing! One minute a real bus, the next a full open-sided interior, then a part of the desert itself. Priscilla is a welcome newcomer to the stage!
And if life had a soundtrack, surely the music in Priscilla would be number one! Classic songs take on new meanings in every act: “I Say A Little Prayer” becomes a wistful thought about a distant child, “True Colors” imparts sage advice from an older, wiser generation to one yet to learn and “We Belong” stands as an anthem to enduring friendship. Not to mention you will never hear “I Love The Nighlife” again without thinking of a certain bar in Broken Hill outback Australia.
And who better to provide this soundtrack than the suspended in mid-air DIVAS! Three spectacular voices that surely belong to angels, these women sing in perfect harmony as they are literally suspended 50 feet in the air over the stage as the scenes unfold. Sometimes Greek chorus, sometimes entertaining the audience between scenes, even providing the voices of the female impersonators to lip synch to, the DIVAS capture the very essence of Priscilla. Their costumes alone are too fabulous and what they can do with a song to make it their, and Priscilla’s, own will give your ears a treat.
Future Idol contestants take note: hanging above a stage for over 2 hours in spectacular costumes while singing without autotune should be a competition. There are very, very few who could command the title DIVA and these women have raised the bar even higher. The DIVAS are worth the price of admission alone! Thank you!!
Of course the Tony-award winning costumes (created by the same team who did the movie) are even more amazing in person and literally become props on stage. With only 16 or so in the ensemble cast it is said they have over 200 costume changes. You will gasp at how quickly these changes and characters appear in multiple roles. Personally, I have never seen bloomers become the Sidney Opera House but there you have it: I adored the paint brushes that dance to [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Petula Clark[/lastfm]’s “Color My World” (HGTV take note) and there is never a moment when your eyes will not be riveted to some piece of fabric or some clever staging.
Oh, and what you heard about the bus with the shoe while Felicia sings an aria: it’s true!! My, you haven’t heard? Then just GO and see it for yourself!
Priscilla is a heartfelt, exuberant, and triumphant play from start to finish that has universal appeal because life never really changes anything but its costumes. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kiss your inhibitions goodbye and dance in the aisles with the happiest audience on the Great White (or should we say Pink) Way. Get happy and get down with PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT!
Watch a preview of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert
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