Priscilla Queen of the Desert is about Tick(Wade Mccollum), a drag queen who after getting a call from his wife and young son decides to take a road trip across Australia. He brings his friends Bernadette(Scott Willis) and Felicia (Bryan West) with him. They buy a bus to travel in, and along the way run into many different people not all of them friendly. The three eventually arrive at their destination and give a big performance.
I enjoyed most of the play although I wasn’t sure why the country people kept showing up especially at the beginning of act two. It felt a bit random and I wasn’t sure how it fit in with rest of the show.
The sets were nice especially the bus that could turn and was central to many scenes. I also enjoyed the giant sparkly shoe that appeared several times, it was very glittering and slightly ridiculous but that fit the rest of the show.
It was a very over the top spectacle of a musical, an impressive feat in a genre known for being over the top. Although it can be very easy to overdo costumes, lights, sets and such I felt only a few numbers gave me a bit of a headache from the bright costumes and amount of glitter. The costumes were interesting and also very numerous, I didn’t count the exact number but each actor must have had at least ten elaborate costumes. Some of the most memorable and enjoyable being the cake dresses and the human paint brushes. I didn’t like all the costume choices and some of them were just weird such as the flipper/high heel things worn at one point.
For the most part the singing was excellent especially by the three leads. My problem was the singing done by the three divas, I couldn’t hear them over the orchestra, they were the only performers that this was a problem. This may have had something to do with the fact that the divas constantly came down from the ceiling and would dangle in mid air and sing. It was a nice effect in the first number ‘It’s Raining Men’ but it continued to be used and ended up being a bit weird and a little distracting.
At first I was surprised by how amusing the audience seemed to find the play. There were many funny parts but I felt a lot of the jokes went over my head and I didn’t get some of the cultural references made. I then remembered that this makes some sense as I’m not in the target audience of this show. I would recommend this show to most people although it defiantly wasn’t a show for kids. But as long as you’re over the age of 14 or 15 it would probably be appropriate. If glitter, bright colors, drag queens, elaborate costumes and disco music are your thing you’ll enjoy this show.