Priscilla Queen of the Desert

  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert
  • Princess of Wales Theatre
  • Now until Jan. 2, 2011????
  • Review by Stephen Adler

Priscilla-Queen-of-the-Desert-3Do you remember a little musical called Mama Mia? Did you like it? Do you remember how good and warm you felt inside after you saw it? Well, get ready because if you liked Mama Mia, you are gonna LOVE Priscilla!  Maybe even more!  Coming from this veteran critic that means it is a smash hit. Sure there may be some things you might not like, but the idea of costumes, scenery and big, bold musical numbers is back: alive and well on this stage. You know the music and you will smile broadly when this company delivers it right in your face.

I don’t remember enjoying an evening in the theatre this much in a long, long time.  Need I say more? Yes I do!

Priscilla-Queen-of-the-Desert-1The compliments go to one of the newest Broadway producers, Bette Midler.  You can see her influence on this production; her in-your-face comedy, her big, bold approach to the music. This show has Ms. Midler’s paint strokes all over it.  If you are one of the strange people who don’t like Midler, Garland, Streisand and Merman, you should be ashamed…but you will still be able to enjoy this show!

Based on the original movie of the same title, the musical tells the story of a group of transvestites crossing Australia’s outback. Along the way they encounter a wide spectrum of characters and we watch this crazy group become closer and tighter as they must defend themselves against intolerance and bigotry. With over 300 costumes and dozens of wigs, shoes and lavish sets Priscilla will remind you what Broadway used to be like before the bean counter became the producer.

Priscilla-Queen-of-the-Desert-2I inserted a “????” instead of an exact closing date and referenced Mama Mia for the same reason. Mama Mia was supposed to stay in Toronto for 12 weeks and then go to Broadway. It stayed here several years and is still a success on Broadway to this day. I hope the same will happen to this wonderful show as well.

I rarely write love letters, but this is an exception. Instead of rating with stars I will say:

“This is very truly yours to see and enjoy. If you don’t like it, please write me and we can discuss over a glass of Australian wine.”

Photos Courtesy of Mirvish Productions.

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