Theatre Review: Priscilla Queen of the Desert @ Palace Theatre, 06/25/11

If you are looking for good time on Broadway, then grab tickets to Priscilla Queen of the Desert! It’s funny, endearing, fabulous, and chock full of some of the biggest and best pop songs ever written!

I will say this: Priscilla Queen of the Desert is about a thousand times more interesting and exciting than the Broadway staple, Mamma Mia. It’s hard not to compare the two shows because both shows use familiar pop music to drive their stories. You might think that songs like, “It’s Raining Men”, “I Say a Little Prayer”, “Holiday/Like a Virgin” and “I Will Survive” aren’t musical theatre worthy but book writers, Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, have cleverly crafted a smart book, full of heart, that presents the material in a way that works fabulously!

The story centers around Tick (Will Swenson) who decides he finally needs to go back to Alice Springs, Australia to meet his eight-year-old son, Benji (Luke Kolbe Mannikus), for the first time. He persuades his two friends, Bernadette (the amazing, Tony nominee, Tony Sheldon) and Adam/Felicia (the incomparable Nick Adams) to come with him by telling them they will be performing their dragtastic act at the Alice Springs Casino. They jump on a bus, aptly named Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and they are off on an adventure of a lifetime.

Scene after scene, you’ll be amazed how the bus moves, changes and lights up on the stage. Brian Thomson, who designed the production and bus concept, created one of the most fantastic, magical sets I’ve ever seen. First off, the bus moves around the stage with complete ease, even though it’s a full-size bus! You also are continually amazed how it transforms right in front of your eyes. The unbelievable transformations makes the bus an almost fully realized character in the show, but never overshadowing the story or the three main characters. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen in the theatre before!

The best part of Priscilla Queen of the Desert is not the flashy songs or the incredible Tony-winning costumes, it’s the story (even though the costumes are absolutely to die for). You can’t help but love all of the characters in this show and you deeply connect with them on a very heartfelt level. It doesn’t matter that they are fabulous drag queens, the story focuses on love and acceptance — two things we all need. While this musical is chock full of camp, pink boas and sequins, you still walk out of the theatre deeply touched and that’s why I loved it.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert teaches us to love, accept each other’s differences, and that our unique personalities should be celebrated but it also makes sure you are having a fabulous time. This show is fierce! Don’t miss it!

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3 thoughts on “Theatre Review: Priscilla Queen of the Desert @ Palace Theatre, 06/25/11

  1. Will be seeing this tomorrow in London and can’t wait! Tonight I watched the amazing, heartfelt and hopefull production of WAR HORSE. I admit to being brought to tears in both acts and found that the puppets were so real that they became characters in the show with their own emotional impact. GO SEE THIS TODAY!!

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