So exactly how does one describe “PRISCILLA: Queen of the Desert?” Well as I left the Pantages Theatre last night I immediately began to think of what words I should use to describe what I had just seen for surely it was both powerful and unique. The words flowed and were, wildly entertaining, audacious, zany, over the top, sizzling, fun – oh yes a whole lot of fun, mega glitzy and bawdy. “PRISCILLA: Queen of the Desert” is all that and more but it is not over burdened with deep intricate plot lines with stunning twists and turns. Oh to be sure there are a few story lines in the show like how does a cross dressing daddy relate to his admiring son and an overriding message of “things aren’t always what they may at first seem.” But overall the show is about raucous fun often to the compelling beat of music from the late great Donna Summers and other memorable artists of a few decades back. Indeed the show is literally over flowing with great songs all performed magnificently and adding perfectly to the overall show.
The multitude of breath taking costumes captures and holds the audience. This earns Academy Award and British BAFTA Award winning designers Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner super kudos. The utterly amazing dance magic of “PRISCILLA: Queen of the Desert” flows from the genius of the late Choreographer Ross Coleman and is kept alive by Joshua Buscher and Andrew Hallsworth. And then, of course, there was the entire cast whose onstage presence kept reminding me of my many years in S.E. Asia where one quickly learns that some of the most beautiful girls aren’t.
Basically the story revolves around a journey across the Australian outback by three good friends who just happen to be drag queens and stage performers. The tale is told with both great sensitivity and abundant fun. Their transportation is a battered old bus they name “Priscilla” and she becomes a very magic bus indeed.
“PRISCILLA: Queen of the Desert” lacks the complexity of “Les Miserables” or the bone chilling power of “Jekyll and Hyde” but it is arguably the all time winner in the pure fun department. Like many of the other Tony Award winning Broadway classics I sincerely believe that “PRISCILLA: Queen of the Desert” will be one of those great shows that keep coming back again and again across a vast span of time. But you should not wait but rather enjoy it right now at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.
“PRISCILLA: Queen of the Desert” is playing now through June 16, 2013 at the Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles (Hollywood), California 90028. Show times are Tuesday through Friday at 8:00pm, Saturdays 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Ticket information is available online at: HollywoodPantages.com and “Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-982-2787.