Thursday, February 2, 2017
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
When the film premiered in 1994 positive portrayals of gay, bisexual and transgendered characters were in short supply. Writer and director Stephan Elliott saw his low budget project become an international success. Elliott had retired by 2004 when he suffered a near fatal accident. Surviving disaster convinced him to return to work and adapt Priscilla for the stage.
Bette Midler agreed to co-produce the Broadway transfer and became a fervent spokesperson for the show. The book underwent extensive rewrites. Kylie Minogue songs were swapped for Madonna’s and the father/son subplot was expanded. The show won Tony Awards for Best Costume Design (Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner) and Best Supporting Actor (Tony Sheldon).
Tim Chappel complained to the New York Times that the Broadway producers censored his designs to make them "safer for Broadway." Despite the tinkering the production ran 526 performances and had a lengthy tour. Productions of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert are currently running in France, Spain, South Africa and the United States.
Posts will be slowing down in 2017 due to other projects. I'll try to get at least one comic up a month.