London — How do you transform a cult classic where one of the main characters is a giant pink bus into a stage production?!?! Well, friends, the brilliant minds of the West End have done it with “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.”

My face still hurts from smiling (and singing)!!

Michael was already in London, so Carol and I grabbed the express into Waterloo last night, and we went to the thea-ta!  From the opening strains of “Never Been to Me” where the three “real” singers descend slowly from the ceiling in their 3-foot high wigs and strapless sequin costumes (one of them was a big girl, so I give points right away) as Tick/Mitzi strips out of his man clothes and becomes an over-the-top drag queen right before your eyes, I knew I was gonna love this. Mother would have loved it too.

The same costume designer who won the Oscar for the movie did the designs for the show, and she’ll win the Tony too. More wonderful songs than the original soundtrack and absolutely outstanding performances. Musical number after musical number after musical number. And big costume changes with each number. And men who look like they’re wearing those muscle-y Halloween costumes, but they’re not! Remember “Shirl” whom Bernadette drank under the table and the ping-pong princess? They’re all here!

Then even after I GET that there’s a giant bus on stage, open on one side so you get full interior scenes, HOW are they going to transform her after the horrible “f— you faggots” graffiti into the pink
princess?  I won’t say, but it works. About a million different ways!

Confetti bombs and audience members dancing on stage (to “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”) and feathers everywhere. Even the giant glittery shoe on the top of the bus with Felicia atop it singing opera while her parachute-sized scarf trails behind… .

Expected on Broadway this fall!  I can’t wait!!!  Can we have a Priscilla costume party this year?!?


Kathryn Hoffman

Kathryn Hoffman is a former Vanderbilt University Commodore.