If there was ever a time that one wished to have a remote control for life to pause amazing moments or rewind the fun ones, this show evoked that emotion for this author. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a show that theater goers are going to either love or hate. As a fan of the disco era and it’s music, glitz and glitter, and the message of being true to oneself, this reviewer definitely loved it!
Based on the movie from 1994, the story follows three friends, on a road trip through the Australian Outback. The three travel on a pink bus and we watch them bond, meet new people, and experience hate crimes and frightening situations. The adventure touches on sexual issues, homophobia, and acceptance (or lack thereof), however not so much that it feels preachy or overwhelming to a more conservative audience member. The wisdom of the tale is told in a gentle and playful approach, with dazzling number after number.
Priscilla is a spectacle, certainly, with glitter, sparkle and shimmer scintillating every inch of eye sight. And it’s perfect. Unlike other musicals that cover music that’s popular, this doesn’t feel stale or second-rate. Nor do the costumes, that merit a review of their own. Over 500 for this 2.5 hour show, each more stunning than the one before. The lighting, set design, and outrageous direction and choreography blend together so well, it’s easy to forget the world and leave your cares behind.
Aaah, behind. Any straight female or gay male will need a palm leaf or fan for the amount of good-looking cast members. You can’t pinch an inch on any of the gorgeous males that appear in, of course, shimmer-y g-strings! Not to be outshined by the almost implausible beauty of the men, Chelsea Zeno, as Cynthia, shocks and entertains with perfect comedic timing and confidence. “Pop Muzik” is, without a doubt, remarkable in direction, talent and humour.
Priscilla is a boisterous, lustrous performance that appeals to all age groups, as seen in the lobby with teenagers dressed in drag, to the elderly couple using canes to make their way through the crowd. It is over the top yet not busy, and will certainly have you humming MacArthur park for days to come. Playing now through June 16th at the Pantages Theater. Click here to buy tickets.