Bette Midler Joins Producing Team of Priscilla Queen of the Desert

News   Bette Midler Joins Producing Team of Priscilla Queen of the Desert
 
Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner Bette Midler has joined the producing team of the new musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which began its pre-Broadway Toronto engagement Oct. 12 at The Princess of Wales Theatre.

Bette Midler
Bette Midler Photo by Greg Gorman

The New York Post reports that Midler has invested a "sizable chunk" of money into the production, which will arrive at the Palace Theatre on Broadway Feb. 28, 2011, with an official opening scheduled for March 20.

Midler, who will receive top billing of the producers, will attend rehearsals and note sessions for the new musical.

On behalf of all the producers, James L. Nederlander said in a statement, "Not only is Bette Midler a great friend to the Nederlander family, she is also one of the most hyphenated people I know. She is a remarkable actress and performer; a brilliant writer and lyricist; and, an accomplished director. Bette’s insight has already proved to be invaluable on Priscilla. We are thrilled that she wants to join us on the bus for this magnificent adventure."

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott and directed by Simon Phillips.

The show is drawn from the Academy Award-winning film "The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert," which starred starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce. The score features existing dance-floor favorites. Choreography is by Ross Coleman, musical supervision and arrangements are by Stephen "Spud" Murphy, and set design is by Brian Thomson. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner have re-created their Academy Award-winning costume designs, which were originally designed for the film. Lighting is designed by Nick Schlieper and sound design is by Jonathan Deans. Make-up design is re-created by Cassie Hanlon.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert had its world premiere in Sydney in 2006 and has subsequently dragged its flashy wares to Melbourne and New Zealand, becoming the most successful Australian musical of all time. The London production is now in its second year in the West End at the Palace Theatre. Beyond Toronto and Broadway, further international dates are also in discussion for productions in Brazil, Scandinavia and Germany.

The staging won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Costume Design for Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner. The show was also nominated for Best New Musical and Tony Sheldon was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is also produced by Liz Koops and Garry McQuinn; Specific Films; Allan Scott Productions; Roy Furman; James L. Nederlander; Terry Allen Kramer; Terri and Timothy Childs, Ken Greiner & Chip Meyrelles; Chugg Entertainment; Michael Buckley; Bruce Davey; Stewart F. Lane / Bonnie Comley; Thierry Suc; Robert G. Bartner; Volcano Project; David Mirvish; Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment / Spirtas-Mauro Productions/MAS Music Arts & Show.

Bette Midler made her Broadway debut as Tzeitel in the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof. She returned to the Great White Way in several concerts: Bette Midler, Bette Midler's Clams on the Half Shell Revue and Bette! Divine Madness. She was awarded a Special Tony Award in 1974 for "adding luster to the Broadway season." Midler's screen credits are extensive and include Oscar nominations for her performances in "For the Boys" and "The Rose." She is also the recipient of Grammy Awards for Record of the Year ("Wind Beneath My Wings," 1989), Best Pop Vocal Performance Female ("The Rose," 1980) and Best New Artist (1973).

For tickets, schedule and performance information on the West End and Toronto productions visit priscillathemusical.com. For more information about the Broadway run, visit priscillaonbroadway.com.

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