Bette Midler, whose solo Broadway debut at the Palace Theatre is the stuff of showbiz legend, will return to that landmark venue as a producer of this season’s eagerly anticipated, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL.
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL begins a pre-Broadway engagement tonight, Tuesday, October 12, at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, Canada, prior to beginning performances at Broadway’s Palace Theatre in New York City on February 28, and opening March 20, 2011.
Bette Midler said ““A new star on Broadway and her name is PRISCILLA!! So much fun, it's practically illegal!! In fact, it IS illegal in four states!!”
On behalf of all the producers, James L. Nederlander said, “Not only is Bette Midler a great friend to the Nederlander family, she is also one of the most hyphenated people I know. She is a remarkable actress and performer; a brilliant writer and lyricist; and, an accomplished director. Bette’s insight has already proved to be invaluable on PRISCILLA. We are thrilled that she wants to join us on the bus for this magnificent adventure.”
Bette Midler made her Broadway debut in Fiddler on the Roof, and even then, she understood the importance of doing matinees. Her remarkable career started while singing in New York bathhouses, where she was given the name, “The Divine Miss M.” Her record debut, “The Divine Miss M,” earned her a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In 1979, Bette made her film debut in portraying a doomed and self destructive rock & roll singer in The Rose, which she earned the Golden Globe for Best Actress, Academy Award nomination, and Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal performance. In 1988 Bette starred in Beaches, and received her third Grammy Award, Record of the Year, for the film’s title song, “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Midler garnered her second Best Actress Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for Mark Rydell’s For The Boys. Additional film credits include: Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, Big Business, Scene’s From a Mall, Hocus Pocus, The First Wives Club, The Stepford Wives, Then She Found Me, and The Women. This past January she concluded her critically acclaimed Vegas extravaganza The Showgirl Must Go On at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, with over 200 performances that were seen by over half-million people in 2 years. Forty years, four Grammys, four Golden Globes, three Emmys, a Tony Award and tons of record-breaking performances since she hit the scene, the "Divine Miss M" is still going strong.
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL stars Olivier Award nominee Tony Sheldon (“Bernadette”), Tony Award® nominee Will Swenson (“Tick”/ “Mitzi”) and Nick Adams (“Adam”/“Felicia”) 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.
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL 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”), “Divas” Jacqueline Arnold, Anastacia McCleskey and Ashley Spencer and Thom Allison, Kyle Brown, Bryan West, Tad Wilson, Joshua Buscher, Susan Dunstan, Gavin Lodge, David Lopez, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Jeff Metzler and Eric Sciotto.
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL, adapted from the Academy Award® winning film “The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, is written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott. Direction is by Simon Phillips, choreography is by Ross Coleman, musical supervision and arrangements are by Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy and set design is by Brian Thomson. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner have re-created their Academy Award® winning costume designs, which were originally designed for the film. Lighting is designed by Nick Schlieper and sound design is by Jonathan Deans. BAFTA Award winning make up design is recreated by Cassie Hanlon.
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL had its world premiere in Sydney in 2006 and has subsequently wowed audiences and critics alike in Melbourne and New Zealand, becoming the most successful Australian musical of all time. The London production is now in its second smash hit 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.
Along with winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Costume Design for Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, the musical was also nominated for Best New Musical and Tony Sheldon was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical.The Evening Standard raved that Priscilla “Takes you out of yourself and into daring places your wildest fantasies might never have dreamed of visiting,” and The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Evening Standard, and London Paper all gave the production “Four Stars!”
Earlier this year PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL won the Best Musical Award in London, voted for by Whatsonstage.com readers.
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL is produced by Bette Midler; James L. Nederlander; Liz Koops and Garry McQuinn; Specific Films; Allan Scott Productions; Roy Furman; Terry Allen Kramer; Terri and Timothy Childs, Ken Greiner, Chip Meyrelles; Robert G. Bartner; Chugg Entertainment; Michael Buckley; Stewart F. Lane / Bonnie Comley; Bruce Davey; Thierry Suc/TS3; The Volcano Project; Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment / Spirtas-Mauro Productions/MAS Music Arts & Show; and David Mirvish.