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Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ sashays into Venetian Theater

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - from

The old Phantom Theater at The Venetian has its first full-scale production show on the books since “Phantom -- The Las Vegas Spectacular” closed last fall, and it’s a grand operation. “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert -- The Musical” rolls into town June 18 for an 11-week run, taking over the room that is currently home to Tim McGraw & Faith Hill’s concert series, “Soul 2 Soul,” which closes April 27.

Tickets for "Priscilla" start at $59 (absent fees) and go on sale Wednesday online at The Venetian website and also are available by calling the hotel box office at (866) 641-7469 or (702) 414-9000. Members of the hotel’s Grazie Loyalty Program can purchase tickets now; that opportunity began Monday.

Reports of the musical have been cropping up for quite a time, and the Ubiquitous Robin Leach wrote in January about the speculation that the show was indeed targeted for Las Vegas.

In a statement, BASE Entertainment co-CEO Scott Zeiger said, “BASE Entertainment is pleased to bring the national tour of ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ to the bustling city of Las Vegas. Already an international hit, ‘Priscilla’ is a feel-good show that embraces individuality, making it a perfect addition to Las Vegas.”

BASE produced the nine-month run of “Priscilla” in Sao Paulo, Brazil, last year.

As referenced by Zeiger, the show does embrace individuality -- and the bending of gender. The show is based on the 1994 comedy-drama “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and and Guy Pearce. The plot is an adult-themed variation of the old “Road To” film series, following the trek of two drag queens and a transsexual woman across the Australian Outback in a bus they’ve named “Priscilla.”

The stage show is aggressively beautiful, with performers wearing 500 Tony Award-winning feathered, sequined-splashed costumes and a stage blasting with tiny mirrors, strobes and multicolored lights. The musical’s soundtrack is an orgy of karaoke-conducive songs, among them, “It’s Raining Men,” “Finally,” “I Will Survive,” “Material Girl,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," “Like a Prayer” and even John Denver's hillbilly anthem, "Thank God I'm a Country Boy."

The stars in the Vegas production are Wade McCollum (Tick/Mitzi), Scott Willis (Bernadette) and Bryan West (Adam/Felicia) as the trio of friends. Joe Hart plays Bob, the mechanic the trio scoops up along their path.

Get to know those names and this show. This bus will be parked for a long spell.

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John Katsilometes is a columnist and magazine writer for the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly and editor-at-large for ...

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