Sunday, July 06, 2014

getting the groove on with a bunch of queens

i met with my beasties Chris and Beth to watch the play Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

 photo priscilla_zpsc3085f81.jpg
photo courtesy of Chris' Facebook page

the story is adapted from the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) about two drag queens and a transgender woman, who contract to perform a drag show at a resort in Alice Springs, a resort t

own in the remote Australian desert. Priscilla is the name of the bus they drove to get to the place.

Tick/Mitzi (played by Leo Valdez) was asked by his wife Marion, whom he has been separated from for several years because of his homosexuality, for a favor, to perform his act in her club.  while Tick is hesitant, Marion tells Tick the reason she is asking is partly because their eight-year old son Benji wants to meet his father.  Tick then calls in his friend, a transsexual, Bernadette (played magnificently by Jon Santos), whose husband just died, to join him.  he also enlists his other friend, Felicia (very magnificently played by Red Concepcion), to join their act.  there is an instant dislike between Felicia and Bernadette, with the latter not amused by the former's show-off performance.  Felicia, on the other hand, makes fun of her old life as "Ralph" and her age.  along the way, they meet people who pretend to like them but hate their sexuality and then people who are genuinely nice (someone actually even finds love) until they reach their destination.

this show reminded me of this other movie, Too Wong Foo, similarly, about three drag queens, who face discrimination in a strange town.  i loved the show, not only because i was with my two best friends Beth and Chris (besties, beasties, is there a difference?  lol) but because it was so fun to watch.  the music was great.  and the queens.  the queens, the divas, they were all lovely.

i've always loved Jon Santos.  to my mind, he can do anything, be anyone.  this performance was a walk in the park for him.  his Bernadette reminded me of Madonna in Evita.  so classy. so beautiful.  so perfect.  Red Concepcion as Felicia was amazing.  when i found out that the musical was based on a movie, i couldn't imagine Guy Pearce doing it.  then i couldn't get over it.  i was touched by Leo Valdez's performance, especially the duet between him and his son Benji.  Bituin Escalante's pipes astounded me.  there is no doubt in my head that she is still one of the best singers our beloved country has produced.  this was the shows third to the last run and i am so glad i got to see it, with my beasties.

***

Chris and i were talking about how we wished somebody in the Philippines would think of producing a musical that has all the best elements of the Manila Sound.  PETA has produced a show featuring the music of Sugarfree (sadly, i didn't get to see it) and now, we have a rerun of Rak of Aegis featuring Aegis songs.  we think it would be so much fun to hear the music of Hotdog, VST and Co.  and maybe even APO Hiking Society in a play.  anyone?