|Priscilla bus interior with the Diva chorus hanging about.|
(all images: Joan Marcus)
The musical is an adaptation of the 1994 film “The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert”. Set in Australia, the story follows the adventures of Tick and two friends, Bernadette and Adam – all drag queens, as they travel on a bus christened Priscilla from Sydney across the outback to Alice Springs to perform a show and reunite Tick with his son. Along the way they gain additional lessons in the meaning of love and friendship with more than a generous helping of disco songs thrown in and confetti here and there added for good measure.
As for Lodge, he fit comfortably in the flamboyant musical numbers but especially heart warming in the scenes with his ex and son.
Tony Sheldon has turned the role of Bernadette into his own cottage industry having originated the role in Australia, London, Toronto and now New York. True he has the advantage of playing the role for several years but he manages to convey the disappointments and dreams with the life choices the character has made. His is an outstanding, moving and hilarious performance. Nick Adams as Felicia/Adam is the third in the mis-matched road trip trio.
With dazzling effect in London, the reveal of Priscilla the bus as she is lit up in neon pink appeared less impressive to the crowd tonight compared to the wild reaction at the London performance. However the energy the cast displays for the ensemble numbers seem boundless. Production values are top notch with Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner recreating their Academy Award winning designs for the stage.
One point of contrast between from London production is the removal of dialogue about and songs by Australian singer Kylie Minogue replaced with references to and hits by Madonna. Other additional tweaks have been made to the collection of songs (such as "Both Sides Now" replaced by "True Colors"). (Original Broadway Cast and Original Australian Cast available on amazon.com; a London cast recording is unavailable.)
This production is indeed polished and lightning should have struck twice with the creative and design team duplicating their roles on Broadway. But some of the humor appears forced in the end product and the direction more coy in it aspirations exemplified by advertising featuring the chorus of divas rather than the three male leads. If the whole endeavor seems manufactured for American audiences it’s Mr. Sheldon who is the talented tent pole holding up the production.
Click HERE to read my review of the London Production. More production photos after The DETAILS below.
|left to right: As the divas - Jacqueline B. Arnold, Anastacia McCleskey|
and Ashley Spencer. Original advertising campaign featured the
- Website: priscillaonbroadway.com
- Where: Palace Theatre, New York City (seating chart)
- When: Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat 8pm; Tue 7pm; Wed & Sat 2pm; Sun 7:30pm
- Running Time: 2 hrs 30 min (18-min intermission)
- Ticket Prices: $52-$137
- Opening: Mar 20, 2011 (previews from Feb 28, 2011)
- Closing: Open Run
- Book Online: ticketmaster.com
- Book by phone: (877) 250-2929 / (800) 755-4000
- Cast Recording: Original Broadway Cast; Original (Australian) Cast Recording
- Original Movie on DVD: The Adventures of Priscilla queen of The Desert (Extra Fills Edition)
|Interior of Priscilla bus.|
|Tony Sheldon, Will Swenson, Nick Adams.|
|Will Swenson (center) and the ensemble.|
|Will Swenson, Tony Sheldon and Nick Adams.|