Starting out as a film which made its way to Broadway, the story of Priscilla Queen of the Desert has indeed come a long way. Now, the Philippines stages its first local production of the play featuring top local talents headed by comedian-impersonator Jon Santos and multi-awarded performer and singer Leo Valdez. The two veteran performers are joined by theater actor Red Concepcion who completes the three main characters of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
The show follows three drag queens as they embark on a road trip across the Australian desert. Valdez, who is most known for his role as The Engineer in the original West End production of Miss Saigon along with Lea Salonga, admitted this is the first time he will be dressing in drag for his role as Mitzi, a veteran drag queen with an eight-year-old son he has yet to meet.
Jon Santos is a delight to watch in the role of Bernadette, a former member of the popular drag show Les Girls. Bernadette’s 25-year-old husband Trumpet passes away and she reluctantly agrees to go with Mitzi to visit his son and forget her woes. Santos admitted it is like a dream come true for him to play the role he has long wanted after watching the Broadway version in New York.
Red Concepcion also has his share of scene-stealing moments with his character Felicia, a forward-thinking drag queen who isn’t afraid to flaunt her stuff. Concepcion said it is an honor for him to share the stage with such heavyweights as Valdez and Santos.
This show is a musical extravaganza that will definitely keep all your senses entertained. The three divas go through eight costume changes as well fantastic production numbers with an equally talented ensemble cast composed of Bituin Escalante, Pinky Marquez, Michael Williams, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, and Thou Reyes.
Another factor that makes this show worth watching is that all throughout the production it features hit songs from different generations like Kylie Minogue’s “The Locomotion,” “Can’t Get You out of My Head,” “Spinning Around,” “Come Into My World,” and “Confide in Me” as well as immortal hits like Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” the Village People’s “Go West,” Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” Dionne Warwick’s “I Say a Little Prayer” and “It’s Raining Men” and many more.
Priscilla Queen of the Desert is directed by Jaime Del Mundo and will run from May until July 2014 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila. For tickets, log on to ticketworld.com.ph or call the Resorts World box office at 908-8000 local 7700 or visit rwmanila.com.