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Monday, December 6, 2010

Priscilla Queen of the Desert Broadway Costumes

"A cock, in a frock, on a rock."  Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was one of my favorite movies of the 1990's.  It's coming to Broadway after a fabulous run in Toronto.  I LOVED the show.  It was as over the top (and more) as you would want it to be.  What I found surprising is that it managed to be touching as well.  The songs are familiar tunes from the movie as well as beloved 80's and 90's pop songs.

The most spectacular part of the show?  COSTUMES.  That should be no surprise...The original film won the Academy award hands down for Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel.  The costume designer got to be bigger, bolder with more sequins.“In the film, we had a budget of US$20,000, so the costumes were all made with chicken wire and duct tape,” Chappel says.
Ms. FAB took a trip backstage to check out some of the costumes up close...Miles and miles of features, towers of wigs, mesh, platforms, pailettes, glitter...

Swarovski crystal had a hand in making the more than 60 costumes sparkle with stones.  Not to be missed... The gigantic shoe/throne that is encrusted with 2500 jewels. Chappel explained that on film, there is a two-dimensional quality that can flatten the effect of costume details.  A cup sequin may be more effect than a diamond.  On stage, it's the opposite, which is why Swarovski truly dazzles.  
Backstage photos by Clara Leung, sketches by Tim Chappel, show photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions

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