High-profile Sydney drag queens will join established musical theatre stars on stage when the musical adaptation of iconic film The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert rolls into Sydney in October.
After weeks of speculation and a series of leaks, the producers of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert confirmed their cast at a glitzy media call at Star City casino on Tuesday.
In a nod to the $6 million musical’s inspiration, the cast arrived in a replica of Priscilla, the silver stiletto-topped bus that transported three drag queens across central Australia in the 1994 film.
In the stage show’s three lead roles are musical theatre performers Tony Sheldon, Jeremy Stanford and Daniel Scott.
Sheldon, a stage veteran last seen in drag in The Producers, will play former Les Girls star Bernadette, a role made famous by Terence Stamp in the movie.
The part of Mitzi (Hugo Weaving in the film) goes to musical theatre and television star Stanford. Scott, currently starring in the stage show Dusty, will follow in Guy Pearce’s footsteps and play Felicia.
The three leads, I’m thrilled with that. It was a really hard casting and they’re just perfect for it, Priscilla director Simon Phillips told Sydney Star Observer.
One of the challenges for them was getting into drag and seeing whether they could make that side of it work.
Sydney drag identities Cleopatra Coup?Trevor Ashley) and Freeda Corsett (Damien Ross) had to ditch their lip-synching skills to secure a part.
Ashley wanted to play Felicia but will appear as Miss Understanding, a drag character not seen in the film who will open the Star City musical. Ross will appear in the Priscilla chorus.
It was a bit disappointing at first of course, but I’m just thrilled to be a part of the show, Ashley said.
It’s a celebration of everything that’s fabulous about Sydney drag and it’s what makes the show so incredibly unique to Sydney.
Seven women feature in the 24-strong cast, including Lena Cruz, understood to be playing the Filipina mail-order bride role.
Meantime, ACON has announced a charity preview of Priscilla on 29 September, a week before the show’s world premiere at the Lyric Theatre on 7 October.
All funds from the gala performance will go to ACON, and a cast party with shows by Sydney drag queens will follow the performance.
Our community has had a long-running love affair with Priscilla the movie and to have the musical’s preview supporting ACON’s work for the community will be a wonderful occasion, ACON president Adrian Lovney said.
Tickets for the ACON Priscilla preview go on sale today, 22 June. Book on 1300 796 330. General Priscilla tickets go on sale on 26 June. Book on 1300 367 794.