Priscilla Queen Of The Desert Opens Next Week

Thursday 6 October 2016

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert Opens Next Week

One of the world’s most joyous and colourful stage shows Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, The Musical turns 10 tomorrow – a week out from the musical opening at The Civic in Auckland – and its creators want New Zealand to join in the party!

To mark this very special day 7 October, the show’s star, Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (aka Alf Stewart) has landed in New Zealand and is ready to pop a cork in celebration of the big pink bus being on the road for a decade.

Meagher (pronounced Marr) will “stripe Auckland pink” over the next few days, including making a spectacular appearance at a Priscilla birthday bash tomorrow afternoon.

Producer Garry McQuinn says Auckland was the first international stop on the Priscilla journey (following Sydney and Melbourne) and was a very important part of the show’s early success.

“When New Zealand audiences loved the show as much as those at home we knew we were on the right track,” says McQuinn. “We’ve since played world capitals and regional centres from London to Las Vegas, Singapore to Sacramento, Milan to Manchester, Birmingham to Barcelona, Athens to Austin …

“Like a graceful diva with a well-stocked make-up box our old pink bus is even more glamorous than she was when we were last here - with some fabulous new tricks under her bush-battered but still-brilliant body.

“And we’ve assembled the Priscilla All-stars - a company of superbly-talented performers chosen from our many international casts and including the star of our West End production, Ray Meagher.

“We’ve circled the world three times and we’ve come full circle, bringing our international production back to the wonderful New Zealand audiences who sent us off almost a decade ago.”

From West End and Broadway stars to film and television actors, pop singers and even Kanye West dancers -- this cast will have it all and promises to be one of the most exciting to have graced The Civic stage.

Joining Ray Meagher reprising his West End role of Bob the mechanic, are Broadway heart-throb Bryan Buscher-West as Tick/Mitzi, the West End’s Simon Green as Bernadette and Brazilian star Andre Torquato as Adam/Felicia.

Bryan Buscher-West is a star of Broadway, having understudied both the roles of Adam/Felicia and Tick/Mitzi during the entire season of Priscilla – co-produced there by mega diva Bette Midler! Bryan then boarded the big pink bus for a 12-month tour of the US, playing Adam/Felicia. His other Broadway credits including Wicked, Legally Blonde and Hairspray. He was no stranger to the stage when he arrived on Broadway, having been part of European pop band 5NY.

Simon Green, a Drama Desk Award nominee and regular on television series including Mr Selfridge and Eastenders, comes direct from playing Bernadette in the UK, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. Green is a veteran West End performer, and prior to frocking up, featured in three Sondheim original West End productions as well as two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall – The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary and Sondheim at 80 for the BBC Proms. In addition to leading roles at many of the UK’s major theatres, his other West End credits include Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Boyfriend, The Wizard of Oz and Showboat.

Andre Torquato comes fresh from playing Adam/Felicia on board the Norwegian Epic cruise liner, and prior to that he played the role in the Brazilian production of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, The Musical. Based in New York City, the Brazilian is a graduate of The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute. Other credits include The Sound of Music, Gypsy, The Witches of Eastwick, The Wizard of Oz, Godspell and Rent.

Long term fans of Shortland Street will see the return to our shores of Lena Cruz (aka outspoken clinic director Sofia Martinez). Since her shock exit in 2001, she has become hugely popular as a stage actress including creating the widely acclaimed role of Cynthia in the original production of Priscilla. Other roles have included Menopause The Musical: Women On Fire, The Threepenny Opera, Fame, Hair – The Musical, and An Officer and A Gentleman. She will reprise her role as Cynthia for Priscilla’s Auckland season.

Many of the cast will come direct from the UK tour of Priscilla and have West End, Broadway or international tour credits (other career highlights bracketed). They are:

Amy Edwards (The Lion King, Australia), Aaron Sweeney-Harris (Aladdin, O2 London and featured dancer for Katie Melua), Joshua Buscher-West (Priscilla since the North American Premier in Toronto, Canada, including Broadway), Adam Lyons (Kanye West dancer Brit Awards 2015), Ian Oswald (Pirates of the Caribbean, feature film, Chicago and Starlight Express), Callum Nicol (Dirty Dancing, West End, Finding Neverland feature film with Johnny Depp), John Brannoch (Matilda the Musical, West End and Chicago, West End), Martin Harding (Priscilla, UK Tour), Evan Wittstock (Les Misérables, Hello, Dolly!, Pippin, and Kiss Me, Kate), Craig Ryder (We Will Rock You, West End and UK Tour), Regan Shepherd (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, UK Tour and The Witches of Eastwick), Ellie Leah (Sister Act, West End and Mamma Mia! International Tour), Erin Bruce (Shout!), Bleu Woodward (Kinky Boots, West End and Mamma Mia! International Tour), Amy Di Bartolomeo (Starlight Express, Germany).

This wildly fresh and funny musical based on the Oscar-winning film features a hit parade of dance-floor favourites, some 500 outrageous costumes, 200 extraordinary headdresses and a 10 metre long customised bus weighing 6 tonnes as its sparkling centrepiece - Priscilla is a must-see spectacular!

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, The Musical has already been seen by close to 5 million people and grossed in excess of $USD600 million worldwide to become the most successful Australian musical of all time.


Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, The Musical
Auckland - From Friday 14 October to Sun 13 November - The Civic