Swenson & Sheldon Lead Pre-Broadway PRISCILLA in Toronto; Opens Oct. 26


Olivier Award nominee Tony Sheldon and Tony Award® nominee Will Swenson (Hair) will lead the cast of the pre-Broadway North American company of PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL, written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott and directed by Simon Phillips.

The spectacular new stage musical will begin performances at The Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto for a twelve-week only, pre-Broadway engagement beginning October 12, 2010 and officially opening on October 26. Tickets are now on sale.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL will open on Broadway in Spring 2011 at a theater to be announced.

Tony Sheldon is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors' Equity Association for its assistance to this production.

Earlier this year PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL won the Best Musical Award, voted for by Whatsonstage.com readers.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL will also feature C. David Johnson ("Bob"), James Brown III ("Jimmy"), Nathan Lee Graham ("Miss Understanding"), J. Elaine Marcos ("Cynthia"), Jessica Phillips ("Marion"), Steve Schepis ("Farrah"), Keala Settle ("Shirley"), "Divas" Jacqueline Arnold and Anastacia McCleskey and Nick Adams, Thom Allison, Kyle Brown, Joshua Buscher, Susan Dunstan, David Lopez, Eric Sciotto, BRyan West, Wayne Wilcox and Tad Wilson. Additional principal casting will be announced shortly.

Australian star Tony Sheldon (Olivier Award nominee for Priscilla) will make his Broadway debut as "Bernadette," the role he originated in the original Australian production and played in London's West End. The Daily Telegraph called the hit musical "Insanely euphoric...wildly contagious." The Sydney Morning Herald raved "Tony Sheldon is sensational. It is a wonderfully charismatic performance and he takes full command every chance he gets to give the work its anchor, humor and heart."

Will Swenson, who will play "Tick"/ "Mitzi" is currently starring in Hair in the West End direct from the Tony Award® winning Broadway production and was recently seen on Broadway in the revival of 110 in the Shade and the original musicals Lestat and Brooklyn.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL is a heart-warming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship in the middle of the Australian outback and end up finding more than they could ever have dreamed. With a dazzling array of outrageous costumes and featuring a score of dance-floor classics, Priscilla is a sensational journey to the heart of fabulous.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL, adapted from the Academy Award® winning film "The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert," starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, is written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott. Direction is by Simon Phillips, choreography is by Ross Coleman, musical supervision and arrangements are by Stephen ‘Spud' Murphy and set design is by BrIan Thomson. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner have re-created their Academy Award® winning costume designs, which were originally designed for the film. Lighting is designed by Nick Schlieper and sound design is by Jonathan Deans. BAFTA Award winning make up design is recreated by Cassie Hanlon.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL had its world premiere in Sydney in October 2006 and has subsequently wowed audiences and critics alike in Melbourne and New Zealand, becoming the most successful Australian musical of all time. Following a return Sydney season last year due to popular demand, the London production recently celebrated its first year in the West End at the Palace Theatre. Along with Toronto and Broadway, further international dates are also in discussion for productions in Brazil, Scandinavia and Germany.

Along with winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Costume Design for Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, the musical was also nominated for Best New Musical and Tony Sheldon was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL is produced by Liz Koops and Garry McQuinn for Back Row Productions, Michael Hamlyn for Specific Films, Allan Scott Productions, David Mirvish, Roy Furman, Terry Allen Kramer, Nederlander Organization, Terri and Tim Childs / Ken Greiner / Chip Meyrelles, Bartner Group LLC, Chugg Entertainment, Bruce Davy, Michael Buckley, Stewart Lane, Thierry Suc and Volcano Project /TS3.

Tony Sheldon created the role of "Bernadette" in the original cast of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical in Australia and starred for two years in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland before transferring to London's West End where he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Other theatre includes: "Roger De Bris" in Mel Brooks' The Producers, directed by Susan Stroman (Australian tour), "Clyde" in The Witches of Eastwick (Melbourne), "Garry" in Noises Off (Sydney Opera House), Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, A Comedy of Errors, Henry IV and Candide (Nimrod Theatre), "Edmund" in Long Day's Journey Into Night, "Manolo" in The Odd Couple, "Hero" in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, "Maitland" in The Chalk Garden, "Gordon" in Neville's Island, "Dick" in Dames at Sea, "The Negro" in The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd (Marian Street Theatre), "Geoffrey" in The Sisters Rosensweig, "John Barrymore" in I Hate Hamlet with Guy Pearce (Melbourne Theatre Company), "Elyot" in Private Lives, "The Baker" in Into the Woods, "Laurence Vail" in Once in a Lifetime, "Florindo" in The Venetian Twins, "Paul" in Company, "Joe" in Merrily We Roll Along, "Mendel" in Falsettos (Sydney Theatre Company), "Arnold" in Torch Song Trilogy (Australian Tour), "Lt. RalpH Clark of the First Fleet" in the one-man play A Singular Voyage (Sydney Festival), "Aunt Augusta" in Travels with My Aunt (Australian tour), "Mr. Myers" in Fame - The Musical (Australian Tour), "Jonathan Harker" in Dracula directed by Sir Robert Helpmann (Australian tour), "Sergei" in Wild Honey (South Australian Theatre Company), "Alvin" in I Love My Wife (Australian tour), "Clifford" in Deathtrap (Queensland Theatre Company), "Tom" in The Glass Menagerie, "Alan" in Equus (Hunter VAlley Theatre Company), "El Gallo" in The Fantasticks (Newtown Theatre) and "Donald" in Spoiled (Independent Theatre). Awards include: The Sydney Critics Award, The Green Room Award, Glugs Award and Mo Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical, 2007), the Helpmann, Mo and Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical (The Producers, 2005), the Norman Kessel Award for Outstanding Performance in a Play (Noises Off, 2001), Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actor in a musical (Falsettos, 1994), Variety Club and Green Room Award as Best Actor in a Play (Torch Song Trilogy, 1983), National Theatre Award for Best Actor (Inner Voices, 1977) and many other nominations. Extensive directing and writing credits.

Will Swenson (Tick/Mitzi) was most recently seen on Broadway and the West End as "Berger" in the hit revival of Hair: The American Tribal Love Rock Musical for which he earned a Tony Award® nomination. Broadway: 110 in The Shade, Brooklyn: The Musical, Lestat. Off-Broadway, tours, concerts: Rock of Ages, Camelot (New York Philharmonic), The Slugbearers of Kayrol Island, Adrift In Macao, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Miss Saigon, We Will Rock You, Fame. Will is also a filmmaker. His first feature film Sons of Provo (a mockumentary about a Mormon boy band), which he wrote and directed, won several film festivals, was released in 2005 and is now available on DVD. Other Film: The Baster, The Singles Ward, The R. M. Television: "Law & Order: CI," "Six Degrees," "The Beautiful Life" and numerous soap operas.

For tickets, schedule and performance information on the West End and Toronto productions visit: priscillathemusical.com.


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