For all the glitter, glitz and glamor in South Florida just head to the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami where it is all on the stage in “Priscilla Queen of the Desert--The Musical”. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner won the Oscar for best Costume design and then triumphed again on Broadway winning the Tony in the same category, both awards well earned. The hardest working people in this show have to be the behind the scenes people who coordinate the wardrobe, makeup and wig crew, including the people hired in each city, to get the actors in the right outfit at the right time. With over 400 costumes plus all the accessories the job they do is amazing.. Oh yes, that flip-flop dress is in the show!
From the curtain first going up when the audience sees a replica of the Sydney Harbour bridge, in Australia, all lit up, to the very real bus that turns, spins, opens up, changes colors, has moving wheels and does everything a bus is suppose to do plus, the lighting designers Nick Schlieper and Jonathan Spencer plus Brian Thomson who designed the bus and production certainly deserve the positive reactions they get from the audiences with all the changes.
The story is about Tick/Mitzi (Chris Klink) going to meet his son for the first time with Adam /Felicia (Bryan West) and Bernadette (Scott Willis), the latter two not knowing that Tick had been married or even has a son. Tick and Adam are drag queens while Bernadette is a transexual and they do a show together lip synching in a gay bar in Sydney. The show is about what happens when they travel from Sydney to Alice Springs where Adam will meet his son. Most scenes are accompanied by songs from the disco era including “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, “Go West”, “I Will Survive”, “True Colors” and “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. In many cases the songs distract from the quieter scenes and just lay there. The choreography is sort of between a rock and a hard place as some of the costumeshinder any dancing of note and most of the steps are basic and constantly repeated. Scott Willis stands out as Bernadette as does Joe Hart as her eventual beau Bob. Both have a chance to sing solo while most songs are done as duets, trios, quartet, or with the full ensemble, not giving any other an individual to shine.
“Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical” is certainly a visual delight and when it comes to the finale you will be up on your feet shaking your booty with the cast. Talking about ‘visual delight’, anyone who likes the chiseled bodies of young men are in for a treat!
Act 1 One hour Intermission 25 minutes Act 2 One hour Strobe lights, Smoke
Tour Dates: Tampa Bay 4/9-4/14, Orlando 4/16-21 West Palm Beach 4/23-28
Coming next to the Arsht Center “Memphis” May 7-12
Coming next to the Broward Performing Arts Center “Warhorse” May 7-19