The latest movie to get the tuner treatment is “Priscilla Queen of the Desert.” The new musical just wrapped a well-received run in Toronto and began previews Feb. 28 with opening night set for March 30 at the Palace Theater.
The 1994 film version won an Oscar for its elaborate costumes designed on a shoe-string budget by Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel. The pair, who had a bigger budget this time round, took home the Olivier Award for last year’s London production.
Olivier Award nominee Tony Sheldon reprises the Terence Stamp role of the aging drag queen while Tony Award nominee Will Swenson (“Hair”) has the Hugh Weaving part and Nick Adams steps into Guy Pearce‘s pumps. The musical is written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott with Simon Phillips directing and Ross Coleman doing the dances
Among the producers of the new musical is Bette Midler. Were it to win the top prize at the Tony Awards, she would have her first competitive Tony, to join the honorary one she received in 1974 for her one-woman show. Back then, the Tonys feted her for “for adding lustre to the Broadway season.”