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Priscilla Queen of The Desert: Canadian style

It is the story of three drag queens, driving a bus named Priscillainto the untamed Australian Outback to sing Madonna songs on lonelymountaintops. It’s also a tale of love, family and belonging — with mensometimes dressed in strange costumes.

It is the story of three drag queens, driving a bus named Priscilla into the untamed Australian Outback to sing Madonna songs on lonely mountaintops. It’s also a tale of love, family and belonging — with men sometimes dressed in strange costumes.


As you can imagine, nothing about this musical is ordinary.


“We tried to avoid having a 28-foot bus on stage,” says producer Garry McQuinn, “but this is a road movie, the definitive production of Priscilla (Queen of the Desert The Musical).”


This stage version of the 1994 Oscar-winning film is also stacked with Canadian talent.

“The writers captured the movie’s essence,” explains veteran actor C. David Johnson, “and it appeals to the Canadian experience. Anyone who’s done a road trip across Canada will understand the boredom and mishaps and humour that come with spending hours on the road: expect pranks and meltdowns and roadkill.”


Johnson plays Bob, a small town handyman in a bad marriage. As Bob’s wife Cynthia leaves him, he falls for transvestite Bernadette, after the bus breaks down near his home.
Burlington’s Elaine Marcos is an understudy as Cynthia, Bob’s Asian mail-order bride.

“Cynthia’s the opposite of a Geisha; she’s loud and over the top,” says Marcos. “Bob’s mistake was marrying Cynthia because he imagined her to be an ideal Asian woman.”


Winnipeg’s Thom Allison is an understudy as Bernadette.
“Bob is an ordinary man whose life is sad and loveless,” explains Allison. “Bernadette is living with a secret, that he has a wife and child. Bob and Bernadette discover that they care about each other. Life takes all sorts of strange turns.


“This story encourages you to never sell yourself short,” concludes Allison. “It tells you to take that metaphysical bus trip of your own!”

 
 
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