By Jeremy Grand
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the 1994 Oscar-winning dramedy about a trio of drag queens trekking across the Australian outback in a pink bus named “Priscilla,” performed at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts during the summer of 2016.
A crowd pleaser by nature, the show follows closely to the original material, costumes and all, with the fun and charm that made the film so popular, while further integrating the ’70s disco soundtrack with extravagant and energetic dance sequences.
Priscilla follows the story of Tick, performed by Jarrod Emick, a professional drag queen who begins the trip across the desert after his estranged wife offers him a gig on the other side of the country as an excuse for him to meet his young son. Joining him are the flamboyant Adam, played by Matthew Marks, and the trans woman, Bernadette, performed by William Selby.
The ill-maintained Priscilla is cause for stops in unlikely places along the way, and the trio find both open arms and hatefulness in the wilds of the desert, but the camaraderie, friendship and fearlessness get them through the worst. The girls are joined by Bob, performed by Mitch Poulos, who is a mechanic that finds courtship with Bernadette, while alienating his mail-order bride (who has the hilarious but vulgar tendency to misbehave at bars with ping-pong balls).
Besides a moment or two of technical difficulties – which the cast made great light of – Priscilla was not one to miss. However, the film still stands as an icon of gay pride but is for absolutely everyone. The audience itself was highly diverse, and the raucous laughter and cheers was a testament to the fact that the story could be appreciated by all.