-3.9 C
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

This musical road trip is anything but a drag

Take a journey across the Australian outback aboard Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, now on stage in St. Jacobs


EDSS student wins U.S. baseball scholarship

It’s January and nowhere near Florida, but St. Jacobs’ Blake Jacklin is in a baseball frame of mind....

News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

Woolwich proposes 5% tax hike for 2020

Budget talks underway this week, Woolwich council is looking at five per cent hike in property taxes, a...

Woolwich looks to add green projects as part of climate action plan

Planting trees remains Woolwich’s priority in rolling out a 0.5 per cent greening levy on property taxes again...


clear sky
-3.9 ° C
-2.2 °
-6.1 °
67 %
1 %
-0 °
2 °
2 °
2 °
1 °

The Australian outback isn’t the only wild part of the decidedly atypical road trip we take with a cast of colourful characters in the Tony-Award winning musical, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, now on stage at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse.

Based on the award-winning indie film of the same name, the story follows three cross-dressing performers – Mitzi (Robbie Towns), Felicia (Billy Lake) and Bernadette (Patrick R. Brown) – on their adventure across rural Australia in a battered lavender bus, lovingly nicknamed Priscilla. They may not be very fond of each other at first, but eventually become closer along the way.

The group travels west from Sydney to perform a drag show at a remote resort in Alice Springs, encountering a comedy of errors along the way. Their journey turns from a simple trek into one of enlightening self-discovery.

“I think people will be surprised at how much fun they’ll have, and I think they’ll be surprised at how touching the story really is,” said Brown, who plays Bernadette Bassenger. “At its heart, it’s really just about people looking for love and accidentally discovering it.”

“I don’t want to give too much away, but I can say it is literally surprise after surprise after surprise,” he added.

Along with the case, music is also a prominent part of the entertainment. Audiences will recognize classic disco hits including “I Will Survive,” “It’s Raining Men,” “Hot Stuff,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Boogie Wonderland” and “Finally.”

“This is the most fun you can have at the theatre,” said Drayton Entertainment artistic director Alex Mustakas. “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is not only packed with dance floor favourites, it is a visual spectacle full of outrageous costumes, sequins and feathers, towering headpieces, dazzling dancing and more – all wrapped around a poignant story about love, acceptance and the meaning of family. Audiences are going to laugh, dance and cheer.”

Brown also noted that the cast isn’t your typical Hollywood lineup, which was particularly noteworthy for the time period when the film was released.

“What’s unique about this show is that it’s about counterculture,” said Brown. “There aren’t really many musicals – I don’t know if I can name another one – whose lead characters are two drag queens and a transgendered woman. It’s a very unique story, especially considering the age of this show – it came out in the 90s. So even 15 years ago we weren’t talking about transgender nearly as much as we are now.”

In addition to the central trio, Tiffany Deriveau, Kelly Holiff and Stacey Kay add their vocal finesse as the Divas. They also act as a narrative voice for the tale.

“We have an incredibly talented and energetic ensemble,” said Brown. “They’re in all the big production numbers and dance numbers and out of that ensemble, some unique and colourful characters appear on their journey as well.”

Other roles include JJ Gerber as the mischievous Tina Turner-esque drag queen, Miss Understanding, Gabrielle Jones as Shirley, the owner of the Broken Hill Pub, and Brad Rudy as Bob, a local mechanic who helps the trio out of a jam.

Monique Lund takes on the role of Marion, the estranged wife of Anthony “Tick” Belrose (aka Mitzi) and mother to their 8-year-old son Benjamin, played by Thomas Winiker.

The Drayton Entertainment production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert runs through April 7 at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse. Tickets are $48, $29 for youth under 20,  available online , at the box office or by calling (519) 747-7788 or toll free at 1-855-DRAYTON (372-9866).

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


The new face of health promotion

There’s a new face around the Woolwich Community Health Centre. Gebre Berlihun has taken on the role of public health promoter after the retirement of 25-year employee Joy Finney in October.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Kings win two more to keep streak alive

The Elmira Sugar Kings extended their 2020 winning streak and their hold on the conference standings with a pair of wins over the weekend.

Applejacks extend winning streak to three

The new year continues to be good to the Wellesley Applejacks, who picked up a pair of wins over the weekend to make...

New app a one-stop shop for region’s waste program

Not sure when your garbage will be picked up? What’s currently allowed in the recycling bin? There’s an app for that.

EDSS student wins U.S. baseball scholarship

It’s January and nowhere near Florida, but St. Jacobs’ Blake Jacklin is in a baseball frame of mind. That’s not a passing fancy,...

EDCL donates $1,000 as thank-you to Floradale firefighters

Thanking the Woolwich Fire Department, Elmira District Community Living this week donated $1,000 to the Floradale station. Firefighters from Floradale...
- Advertisement -