Entertainment Hive 2020

Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical

Adelaide Festival Centre, until September 15

Review by Honey B

After colourfully touring the country, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Musical made its much-anticipated stop in Adelaide this week (August 24). It’s the 10 th  anniversary of this international boundary-pushing show which celebrates sexual diversity with a message of universal love and understanding for all. The storyline stays true to Stephan Elliott’s original 1994 award-winning movie of the same name and follows three drag queens as they leave the big smoke of Sydney to travel west to Alice Springs. The joyous ride across the outback sees leading ladies Bernadette (Tony Sheldon), Tick/Mitzi (David Harris) and Felicia/Adam (Euan Doidge) board a dilapidated Greyhound bus for the ride of their lives. The relationship between these three diverse characters drives the production as their constant banter and jokes takes them from friends to family as they deliver Tick to his wife and six year old son, Benji. Directed by Simon Phillips this musical is absolutely spectacular with Priscilla the bus a highlight of the production with her decked out interior and snazzy LED pink lights. Tony Sheldon, who has reprised his original role as Bernadette, is truly superb. He has performed this role almost 2000 times and the absolute class, honesty, vulnerability and beauty he brought to the character of Bernadette was breathtaking. David Harris was also a joy to watch as the conflicted Tick/Mitzi as he put his emotions on the line and shared the insecurities of a gay man struggling with his identity. At times he was the flamboyant showman and then doubt would set in as he drove closer to his wife and son. South Australian performer Euan Doidge rounded out the fabulous threesome as the feisty, naughty and charismatic Felicia. Doidge revelled in his Kylie Minogue-loving character and he showed his formidable acting chops as he went snappy line-for-line with Sheldon. Rounding out the superb ensemble cast was Robert Grubb as motor mechanic and all-round good Aussie bloke, Bob, along with the hilarious Emma Powell as pub girl Shirley and equally funny and feisty Lena Cruz as Cynthia who does some interesting things with ping pong balls. A shout-out also has to go to Blake Appelqvist as the flexible diva Miss Understanding and flying high above it all showing of their angelic vocals were the heaven sent Cle Morgan, Angelique Cassimatis and Samm Hagen. The opening night crowd thrilled to songs including It’s Raining Men, Better The Devil You Know, I Love the Nightlife and I Will Survive. Tugging at the heartstrings was the boys’ rendition of True Colours, Tick’s I Say A Little Prayer and Felicia’s iconic Kylie moment – Confide In Me. The sparkling, marvellous costumes and soaring choreography just add to the overall spectacle of this show. Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical is beautiful like a vibrant rainbow and it’s a fabulous night out for all.
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