The Queen Finds a Palace on Broadway; Priscilla Will Open March 20, 2011

By Kenneth Jones
15 Sep 2010

Will Swenson and Tony Sheldon
Will Swenson and Tony Sheldon

Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical will play the Palace Theatre on Broadway starting Feb. 28, 2011, producers announced on Sept. 15.

West Side Story will exit the famed venue in early January. Priscilla's opening night will be March 20. Written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, and directed by Simon Phillips, the musical inspired by the film of the same name will make its pre-Broadway, North American debut this fall when it begins performances at The Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto for a 12-week engagement beginning Oct. 12, officially opening October 26.

The show is already popular in London and Australia. Olivier Award nominee Tony Sheldon ("Bernadette"), Tony Award nominee Will Swenson ("Tick"/"Mitzi") and Nick Adams ("Adam"/"Felicia") star as "the trio of friends on a heart-warming, uplifting adventure who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship in the middle of the Australian outback and end up finding more than they could ever have dreamed," according to production notes.

The score includes disco dance-floor favorites.



The cast will also feature C. David Johnson (Bob), James Brown III (Jimmy), Nathan Lee Graham (Miss Understanding), Mike McGowan (Frank), J. Elaine Marcos (Cynthia), Jessica Phillips (Marion), Steve Schepis (Farrah), Keala Settle (Shirley), plus "Divas" Jacqueline Arnold, Anastacia McCleskey and Ashley Spencer, with Thom Allison, Kyle Brown, Bryan West, Tad Wilson, Joshua Buscher, Susan Dunstan, Gavin Lodge, David Lopez, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Jeff Metzler and Eric Sciotto.

The creative team includes choreographer Ross Coleman, musical supervisor and arranger Stephen "Spud" Murphy, set designer Brian Thomson, lighting designer Nick Schlieper and sound designer Jonathan Deans. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner have re-created their Academy Award-winning costume designs, which were originally designed for the film. BAFTA Award winning make-up design is recreated 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 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.

For more information, visit priscillaonbroadway.com.