Priscilla Queen of the Desert has made its debut on the Broadway stage to mixed reviews.
The diverse range of opinions included the New York Post calling it “A feel-good show with a big joyous heart”, to Time Out New York noting “When the costumes come first in a musical, that’s a bad sign – especially when nothing comes second”.
Most of the critical reception has been warm however, with even its detractors noting that failures with its songbook are eclipsed by its crowd-pleasing antics.
“If your idea of a good show is one in which the chorus boys are dressed up to look like cupcakes, confetti is dropped at 8:34 and ‘I Will Survive’ is sung twice… Priscilla Queen of the Desert is for you,” said the Wall Street Journal.
Similarly, in its review, the Hollywood Reporter suggested “Subtlety has no home here. What the show does deliver, however, is joyous crowd-pleasing entertainment, raunchy humour, eye-popping visuals and unexpected heart.”
Adapted from the 1994 Oscar-winning film, the musical undertook a tour of Australian major cities, as well as New Zealand, the UK and Canada before hitting Broadway.
Australian performer Tony Sheldon has retained his role as Bernadette for much of the international and domestic run, having now done more than 1200 performances in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, London (where he was nominated for an Olivier Award), Toronto and New York.