Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Jan 29th, ’11

london west end

According to my very good friend Beverley I should seriously rethink my conviction that I do not like musicals. Because as soon as I go see a musical, I find I like it.

Priscilla – now THAT was absolutely, gorgeously, marvellously brilliant!! The total and shameless lack of subtlety, the precision of both the dialogue and the dance, the whole colourful spectacle – it was absolutely fabulous!

And like with Rocky Horror or La Cage aux Folles, Priscilla has long since achieved cult status; people come multiple times and are dressed to the occasion – they don feathers and pink dresses and it’s fun to watch audience queuing before the show starts. A show that – aside from the characters’ names – has not much in common with the famous movie – and I do think that is a good idea. The trip in the old pink bus unites Felicia/Adam (the absolutely gorgeous Oliver Thornton – boy, I have rarely seen such a blindingly good looking body! www.oliverthornton.com ) and Bernadette (Don Gallagher, brilliant as the remodelled new woman) to accompany their friend Mitzi /Tick (Ben Richards) from Sydney to the Alice – where Mitzi has stashed away his life before coming out – in the form of a wife and a son he hasn’t seen since the boy was born. Add to that highly explosive mix Bob (Ray Meagher, the  only actual Australian in the cast I’ve seen LOL) who is in search of true love and you have a comedy with its sad moments which add spice and a little tear into the mix.

Also, the music used is a fun ride – from Downtown, to Don’t Leave Me This Way to Go West to the classic A Fine Romance to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (by The Divas who are just smashing with voices like angels and bodies like hot she devils – on strings flying from the skies!) to a really moving Kylie Medley in front of Ayers Rock!

One of the moments that impressed me was Tick’s first scene – he comes on stage all butch and tough in a trench coat and then transforms within one song and only a couple of seconds’ time into Mitzi. Now we have seen this in LaCage where peerless and incomparable John Barrowman puts on his mascara for the first time – and it is such an intimate and heartwarming scene that transpires so much feeling then. It is done totally different in Priscilla – with his back to the audience Tick applies lipstick and puts on a mask that will be his eye make-up and when he turns around again – Mitzi! And that rather flashy start also sets the scene for the rest of the musical – it’s glamorously loud and fun and brilliant – subtle it is not. But a lot of fun! And – as I shallowly have stated before – I’ve rarely seen so many really well trained, trim and good looking bodies on one stage before! Go, check it out, ladies! You are worth it!

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Now apparently Liza Minnelli made it to the Palace theatre to watch the show! and judging from the pictures taken by WireImage she enjoyed herself tremendously!  http:// http://bit.ly/hIKb6B Just like I did!!

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