As we mentioned last week, our theater reviewers, Katie & Brittany, got to check out Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at The Orpheum. Here’s their review:
After our fun conversation with Scott Willis we were excited to head over to SHN’s Orpheum Theater and catch the biggest gay ticket in town, the national tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. A party like Priscilla warrants popping a few corks, so we headed to Blackbird in the Castro for some after-show Drama Talk and Drinks.
Brittany: I feel like this show is a drag queen, Disney, fever dream, right down to koalas coming out at the end. So fantastic that it didn’t (well, very, very little of it) ring true to me, but it was so amazing to watch. It’s like our generation’s form of vaudeville. The plot wasn’t important, what mattered was being transported to somewhere glamourous. It was a spectacle, and sometimes that’s what theatre is supposed to be.
Katie: Yeah, or it could also be described as a soft porn . . . drag show style. There was a storyline, but it didn’t matter, or make any sense. The point was the ejaculation of sequins, costumes, dancing and gayness – which is great!
B: Which is so fun.
K: I do wish we had 2 or 3 drinks before the show because I think I would have been in a more “let’s watch a party” mode and not my usual “lets analyze and look for meaning” mode. I would have been more in the spirit of what this show is, which is basically just a big, fabulous, party on stage. Those costumes were ridiculously amazing though, right?!
B: They were crazy – absolutely insane, they didn’t make any fucking sense. I don’t understand why people were dressed in what they were dressed in most of the time, but they were fabulous.
K: But what’s the deal with the accents though? Other than Scott (Bernadette) who did an english accent the whole time, everyone else went between an Australian accent to something else I didn’t understand. As always, my wish for any piece of theater is either learn the accent or don’t do it. Just do it or don’t.
B: Yeah, there was no consistency. I can totally willfully suspend my disbelief and believe you all are in Australia, and no one has an Australian accent, and that’s fine. That fact that some of you are trying it, and others aren’t, it’s like what’s going on guys? It was an awesome big gay party though – not necessarily a great piece of theatre – but really, really fun.
K: Fun it was.
The Verdict: Do you like pretty people and things? Are you into 70s/80s hits? Do you want more confetti in your hair? If you answered yes to any of those you should probably see Priscilla. Do you go to theatre to wrestle with your ongoing existentialist crisis? Probably not for you. But if you’re looking to get-away-from-it-all, it might do the trick (or it might make you punch one of those koalas).
The Drama Talk: Priscilla is very old broadway, just with more drag queens. Lots of chorus girls and boys, huge dance numbers, lots of sequins. It is a spectacular spectacle, those 500+ costumes won a Tony for a reason. It has a Disney ending, and problems are solved with a swift kick to the balls. To be honest, it’s far from a favorite play, but this is an impressive production. Priscilla is like cotton candy, very sweet not much substance.
The Drinks: We heard Blackbird had just had a fabulous makeover, so we headed there for some cocktails. Brittany got the Stratosphere #2, to tame her bubbly craving after watching bottles of champagne consumed during the play. Katie got a Rye-n-Gosling, which tasted as delectable as the name implies. Within minutes the cute boys seated next to us started making out, and we knew we had come to the right place.
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert runs August 21-31 at the SHN Orpheum Theatre.