Wednesday August 23rd 2017

“Priscilla Queen of the Desert,the Musical”

Priscilla Queen of the Desert While the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University is a beautiful venue with great vies, it is often to large for the shows that are brought in. Such is the case with the current production on its massive stage, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,the Musical” , one of the Broadway in Chicago features for this season. This production for the stage is based on an MGM movie with a book by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott and is filled with many great musical numbers, such as “I Say A Little Prayer”, “Material Girl”, “Colour my World”, “I Will Survive”,”Thank God, I’m a Country Boy”, “A Fine Romance”, “MacArthur Park”,”Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and a host of others. The show is filled with solid musical numbers and some clever choreography by Ross Coleman and costumes- wow! The costumes are amazing ( in fact they won the Tony award for the brilliant costumes Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner). Look closely and you will see the Australian version of “The Village People” in the big scenes as well.

This is a show filled with “glitz” and “glamour” as we see the tale of three drag queens who set off on a “road trip) in order for one of them to meet his son. Yes, it turns out that at one time Tick ( Wade McCollum) was a married man who had a son. He doesn’t know this little boy, but it is time for his son to know that he has a father and build a relationship. Two of his companions, Adam ( the comic Bryan West) and Bernadette ( deftly handled by Scott Willis) find an old bus to take on their journey- the bus  is in realith a camper which they christen, “Priscilla” as the travel the desert roads of  the Australian Outback.

Along the way, they encounter everything that one might expect from little towns where a drag queen is nothing like them and so there are vandals, ruffians and some nasty situations. But they also do find some experiences that they could never anticipate and for Tick, a smiling son at the end of his journey. The others also experience some happiness along the way and the three become stronger friends through the adventure they share

The audience at The Auditorium was composed of a variety of age groups and races along with “Types”. To be sure, the Gay population, who probably knew the show better than the straights, were hooting more , but that is probably because the music and script had more familiarity and possibly some of them had their own experiences to recall. Yes, there were some audience members who left during the second act, but that was probably because of the lateness. This show is 2 1/2 hours long and could in my opinion be cut down by 30 minutes and still get the story told. The three Divas ( Emily Afton, Bre Jackson and Brit West) are exceptional singers as they are bobbed up and down as if on a Duncan Yoyo. The first few times, it is cute and then it becomes redundant. In fact, that is one of the problems with this show- no one knew  when to say enough is enough. As it tours from town to city to city to town on this road trip, perhaps the producers will heed the words of those who see it and look at a revision for a return to the Great White Way- I know that the songs have changed since the London version, and perhaps more changes are in the offing.

Meanwhile, this production will be at The Auditorium Theatre , located at 50 East Congress ( between Michigan Avenue and Wabash) through March 30th with performances as follows:

Tuesdays 7:30 p.m.

Wednesdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m.                                                                                       Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m.

Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

RECOMENDED FOR 13 YEARS OF AGE AND UP

Tickets range in price from $28-$85, which is very affordable for a big ( and I mean BIG) production and can be purchased at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices,,The Broadway In Chicago Ticketline at 800-775-2000 at all Ticketmaster retail outlets and online at www.broadwayinchicago.com

to follow the tour, visit www.priscillaontour.com

To see what others say, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to review round-up and click at “Priscilla”       PriscillaTour0091r

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