Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, on Broadway

Paid a visit last night to this extravaganza.  I loved the film.  Was it crying out to be done as a musical?  Actually, yes.  The combination of the driving disco beat, the fantastic costumes, the energetic choreography and the hard-working cast and crew made it a diverting evening, holding the attention if not exactly gripping the emotions with character development.  The characters are all cartoons.  So this was an occasion for watching gorgeous guys and gals cavort about in bright colors and sequins.  OK, there's room for that, too.  But does the music have to be quite so loud, all of the time?  This is why I don't go to as many Broadway musicals as I might otherwise — I can't stand the excessive amplification for too long, and fingers went into ears now and again.

Musing during intermission, I wondered where the very able-bodied cast works out.  Then I realized that going through this show each night (and twice on Wednesdays and Saturdays) could mean that they don't have to hit the gym, since the calisthenics and gyrations and aerobic workout they get with all that high-speed dancing on stage probably takes care of things quite well.

So, kudos to leading men Will Swenson, Tony Sheldon and Nick Adams, and lead supporting player C. David Johnson.  Kudos as well to Jacqueline B. Arnold, Anastacia McCleskey and Ashley Spencer (the divas who descend from the ceiling to serve as a sort of "Greek chorus" commenting on the action)m and the very talented men and women of the choruses, dance routines and crowd scenes.  Everybody was clearly putting in more than 100% – a large part of the success of this show is about perspiration – and the entire technical crew gets a real workout with this fast-paced production. 

Worth seeing.  Bring ear plugs!

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