Friday, July 25, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ is a musical road trip worth taking

Priscilla4W

Priscilla the bus is ready to take (center from left) Tick (Wade McCollum), (Adam) Bryan West and (Bernadette) Scott Willis to Alice Springs in the Broadway Sacramento production of "Priscilla Queen of the Desert." Joan Marcus/Courtesy photo

By
From page A11 | November 08, 2013 |

Check it out

What: “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”

Where: Community Center Theater, 1301 L St., Sacramento

When: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $21-$88

Info: Call 916-557-1999 or visit tickets.com

There are more sequins, feathers, glitter, wigs and platform shoes than you can shake a stick at in the touring musical production “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” which opened this week at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. There were dancing paintbrushes, twirling cupcakes, all sorts of flying things, and every animal unique to Australia, from kangaroos to frill-necked lizards, all dancing and singing their way into the audience’s hearts.

“Priscilla” is the musical version of the 1994 music about three drag queens traveling across Australia’s outback in a big bus on their way to a gig in Alice Springs. The book is by Stephan Elliott (who wrote the original screenplay and directed the film) and Allan Scott, and the music is the most eclectic assortment of covers you can imagine. Everything from Dionne Warwick to Madonna to The Village People to Giacomo Puccini … and John Denver? … among others. There is even a brief salute to ABBA.

The story focuses on Tick/Mitzi (Wade McCollum) and his desire to travel across the outback to meet his 8-year-old son Benji (Shane Davis), whom he has never seen. He brings along two friends, the flamboyant Adam/Felicia (Bryan West) and former drag queen, now transsexual Bernadette (Scott Willis). The three will get an act together to perform in Alice Springs, at a club owned by Tick’s estranged wife Marion (Christy Faber).

The three travel in a bus they name Priscilla, which is so much a part of the story that it’s surprising it didn’t get its own curtain call. It is a bus of many colors, conceived and designed by Brian Thomson, with an interior decorated like a tacky desert motel. The electrified bus moves, rotates and becomes a video screen for some amazing light shows.

This high-energy show is one sizzling production number after another, each bringing thunderous applause from the audience, but while the plot follows that of the movie, the intensity of the glitz robs the story of the poignancy that made the movie special. There are moments of introspection and of tenderness, a sweet love story developing between Bernadette and Bob (Joe Hart), the mechanic who repairs Priscilla and then comes along for the ride, and the emotional meeting of Tick and Benji, but it felt as if the soul of the piece was missing.

However, nobody in the audience was missing anything, as everyone thoroughly enjoyed the 500 or so costumes, 60 wigs, 150 pairs of shoes (nobody can wear a pair of impossibly high heels like a drag queen!) and more than 200 hats and headdresses — there are 65 wig changes, the fastest one taking about 15 seconds.

And there’s a flying Greek chorus, too. The “Divas” (Emily Afton, Bre Jackson and Brit West) who pop in or are lowered down from the flies in a rotating collection of amazing costumes to accompany the stars in such numbers as “It’s Raining Men,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “MacArthur Park.” It’s “flying by Foy,” the most prolific theatrical flying service in the world, the company that elevated stage flying to a modern art form.

The three hero(ine)s of this production face homophobes and bullies and their own fears and insecurities, but as their bond of friendship deepens, they maintain their dignity throughout and triumph in the end … looking simply fabulous, of course.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

Tech Trekkers boldly go into STEM fields

By Amy Jiang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Decoding breast milk secrets reveals clues to lasting health

By Pat Bailey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

California climate change policies to hit our pocketbooks

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

 
Unitarians will host summer camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Artists, photographers invited to support Yolo Basin Foundation

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Wetlands visitors will see migrating shorebirds

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
‘Bak2Sac’ free train ride program launched

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Explorit: Wonderful wetlands right at home

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Recycle old paint cans for free

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Where your gas money goes

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A12

 
Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

Americans, internationals make connections

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
STEAC needs donations of personal care items

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

.

Forum

 
Support these local restaurants

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Let’s get the bench repaired

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Predicting climate changes

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Clinton’s book is worth a read

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Thanks for emergency help

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Commenting system to change

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10, 14 Comments

.

Sports

Hudson solid, Hammels better in Giants’ loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Petrovic, Putnam share Canadian Open lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Moss powers A’s past Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
My Zenith was whacked, but I wouldn’t trade a thing

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Enriquez brilliant, but Post 77 season ends with Area 1 loss

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
The un-Armstrong? Tour ‘boss’ Nibali wins Stage 18

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

Clyde Elmore: Art in the Wild

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Musicians perform at Sunday service

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A17 | Gallery

.

Business

Accord’s latest model is most fuel efficient

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Richard ‘Dick’ Robenalt

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, July 25, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A13