[AUSTRALIA ~ ADELAIDE PREMIERE]
Festival Theatre, Thu 23 Aug.
The Priscilla Queen Of The Desert bus has rolled into Adelaide to spread joy, acceptance and throw a fair dinkum extraordinary party! At tonight’s opening night, the entire audience leapt to their feet giving this ensemble a well-earned standing ovation – no one wanted the party to end!
I had big expectations heading in tonight, having seen the London West End production, but tonight was far superior and more enjoyable than what I had seen previously.
Presented by Michael Cassel Group and Nullarbor Productions in association with MGM On Stage, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – The Musical is based on the iconic 1994 Australian film The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert starring Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terrance Stamp. The musical stage version first opened in Sydney in 2006 and since has had successful runs around the world. For those not familiar with Priscilla, the musical tells the story of two drag queens and a transgender woman travelling through the Australian desert from Sydney to Alice Springs in an old faulty bus, meeting some interestingly contrasting characters along the way. The music is a mega-mix of mainly queer anthems like It’s Raining Men, Go West, I Will Survive, Finally and a lot of Kylie! Yas Queen! It is great fun music and played expertly by the band led by Stephen Gray.
This production is so slick with an incredible ensemble that go from butch country to fierce drag in mere seconds, dressed in some fabulous costumes by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner. On top of that the three Divas (Cle Morgan, Samm Hagen and Angelique Cassimatis) are angels flying in with powerhouse vocals, Robert Grubb plays the humble and sweet mechanic Bob, while Emma Powell gets the biggest laughs of the night as the bogan Shirley. Tony Sheldon [Olivier and Tony nominee] has played the transgender Bernadette nearly 2000 times and is perfect as the calm, dry, maternal older queen, and is in complete contrast to the young, energetic Felicia played wonderfully by Euan Doidge [Les Misérables/Kinky Boots] who shows off all his best assets. Rounding out the trio is David Harris [Legally Blonde/Wicked] as Tick who beautifully portrays the more poignant moments of the show with his son Benji. Tonight, the three queens have fantastic stage chemistry and are incredibly engaging and humorous.
If you haven’t seen the musical before, it is definitely a must-see show! And even if you have experienced it interstate or overseas, then go see it again as this is an incredibly polished production, and a brilliant night out. Resistance to singing along is almost impossible, and the fabulous atmosphere is absolutely contagious!
Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – The Musical continues at Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times, until Sat 15 Sep.
Book at BASS on 131246 or www.bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.