Chicago – L. Walter Stearns, Executive Director of Mercury Theater Chicago, announced today the cast and crew of the spectacular musical comedy PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, running in the Venus Cabaret Theater from March 20 through June 28. The press opening is Sunday, March 29 at 7:30pm. Adapted from the beloved movie-musical,The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, PRISCILLA tells a fabulous story of love, family, and true friendship, following three drag queens on their adventures across the Australian Outback. Celebrating the spirit of inclusivity and found family, PRISCILLA will coincide with 2020 Pride Month in June. PRISCILLA will feature the creative talents of L. Walter Stearns (Director), Eugene Dizon (Music Director), and Breon Arzell (Choreographer).
Leading the cast of PRISCILLA is Honey West as Bernadette, Josh Houghton as Tick/Mitzi and Parker Guidry as Adam/Felicia. PRISCILLA also features Averis I. Anderson (Ensemble), John Cardone (Ensemble), Shana Siap Dagny (Diva/Cynthia), Taylor DiTola (Diva), Dwayne Everett (Ensemble), Donica Lynn (Diva), Matthew Miles (Bob), Roy Samra (Ensemble/Young Bernadette) and Jasmine Lacy Young (Ensemble/Shirley/Marion). In addition to Stearns, Dizon and Arzell, the creative team includes Robert Kuhn (Costume Designer), Denise Karczewski (Lighting Designer), G. Max Maxim (Video Designer), Ben Lipinski (Stage Designer/Technical Director), Carl Wahlstrom (Sound Designer/Sound Engineer), Darian Tene (Assistant Choreographer), Lindsay Bartlett (Dialect Coach), Daniel J. Hanson (Production Stage Manager), and Shane Murray-Corcoran (Associate Producer).
Based on the smash-hit movie, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT is the heartwarming, uplifting adventure of three friends, Tick, Bernadette and Adam, a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio who agree to take their show to the middle of the Australian outback. They hop aboard a battered old bus (nicknamed Priscilla) searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they ever imagined. With a dazzling array of over-the-top costumes and a hit parade of dance floor favorites including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” “Hot Stuff,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Go West,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and “I Love The Nightlife,” this wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of fabulous!
Awarded Best Costume Design from the Tony Awards, the Outer Critics Circle Awards and the Drama Desk Awards, PRISCILLA is a stunning work of creativity and heart that glitters from start to finish. PRISCILLA was also nominated for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Book of a Musical by the Drama Desk Awards. The show originally opened in 2006 at the Lyric Theater in Sydney, Australia to immense success, leading to runs in both Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand in 2008. The show went on to receive international acclaim, spurring a two-year West End production, in addition to a Broadway debut produced by Bette Midler in 2011.
PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT runs from March 20 through June 28. The press opening is Sunday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays at 8:30pm, Fridays at 8:30pm, Saturdays at 8:30pm and Sundays at 3:30pm and 7:30pm. Individual tickets are $65 and are available online at www.MercuryTheaterChicago.com, over the phone at 773.325.1700, or in person at the Mercury Theater box office at 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago.
About the Cast of PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT:
HONEY WEST (Bernadette) is thrilled to make her Mercury Theater Chicago debut with Priscilla! Credits include; Dirty Dreams of a Clean Cut Kid, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Diva Diaries, Jerry’s Girls, Pussy on the House, where she received a Best Actress Award from Broadway World.com, and Tony and Tina’s Wedding. For her role in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Pride Films and Plays, she received a Jeff Nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role and the BroadwayWorld Award for Best Actress in a Musical/Revue. She was a 2012 inductee into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. She was most recently seen in Porchlight Music Theater’s production of Gypsy in the roles of Electra and Mrs. Cratchitt, and in a co-starring role on FOX, Proven Innocent, which aired earlier this year. She received a degree in Musical Theater from Indiana University. She is currently working on a new cabaret show, and an autobiographical one-woman show.
JOSH HOUGHTON (Tick/Mitzi) is thrilled to make his Chicago and Mercury Theater Chicago debut! Select credits include: Buddy in Elf (Arvada Center and Media Theatre); Papa Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (National Tour and Grand Ole Opry); Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast (Theatre by the Sea); Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (Fireside Theatre and Little Theatre on the Square); Lurch in The Addams Family (Forestburgh Playhouse); Woof in Hair, Cousin Kevin in The Who’s Tommy; Prince Herbert/Fred/Historian/
PARKER GUIDRY (Adam/Felicia) is thrilled to be making their Mercury debut! Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Parker is a genderfluid actor and performer based in Chicago and a graduate of Roosevelt University. Credits include Lucas in If/Then (Brown Paper Box Co.); Pythio in Head Over Heels, Erik in Grand Hotel (Kokandy Productions); Gymnasia in A Funny Thing… Forum (Metropolis Performing Arts); 110 in the Shade (BoHo Theatre); Yank! A WWII Love Story (Pride Films and Plays); and RENT (Theo Ubique). They can also be seen playing “Lark” on Showtime’s new comedy series, Work in Progress. Follow Parker on social media @parkourpierre www.ParkerGuidry.com
AVERIS I. ANDERSON (Ensemble) is humbled by this, his Mercury Theater Chicago debut. A Louisiana-transplant, his Chicago stage credits include Porchlight Theatre’s New Faces series; Patrick in The View Upstairs (Circle Theatre); Paris in Marie Christine (BoHo); Acaste in The School for Lies (The Artistic Home); An Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse Songbook (Theo Ubique; for which he garnered a Jeff nomination); as well as additional credits with Black Ensemble Theater, Goodman Theatre, and Pride Film and Plays.
JOHN CARDONE (Ensemble) is very happy to be working with Walter and Mercury Theater Chicago on Priscilla! He recently played Gene Harlow in Who Killed Joan Crawford (Glitterati Productions). He directed and performed in Erik Ransom’s Grindr: The Opera (Pride Films and Plays). Some Chicago Theater highlights include The Full Monty (Theo Ubique); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Guys and Dolls (Music Theater Works); Grand Hotel (Kokandy Productions); Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Pride Films and Plays); A Kiss From Alexander, Naked Boys Singing (Bailiwick); L’Imitation of Life, Scream Queen Scream, Sexy Baby (Hell In A Handbag). He received a Jeff nomination for A Kiss From Alexander in 2006 for Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical or Revue, and in 2017 received the BroadwayWorld Award for Best Ensemble in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Selected film & television credits include: Heartbeat (NBC); Beverly Hills 90210 (Fox); Bloodfist 3 (Roger Corman).
SHANA DAGNY (Diva/Cynthia) is thrilled to be returning to Mercury Theater Chicago. Chicago credits include: Avenue Q (Mercury Theater Chicago); Honeymoon In Vegas (Marriott Theatre); Kim in Miss Saigon, Gloria in Return To The Forbidden Planet (Jedlicka Performing Arts Center); Marcy Park in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Skokie Theatre); Swan Soong (CAM Chicago); Rendition Room (Stage 773). A child TV personality in her native country of The Philippines; she is a member of the renowned dance team, Dancesport Team Cebu City. As an international singer, Shana has headlined concerts in Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines. Other credits include Rashomon, Passion of the Christ, and Helen of Troy (Cebu, Philippines) as well as several local and national commercials. Her work can be found at www.shanadagny.com.
TAYLOR DITOLA (Diva) is making her Mercury Theater Chicago debut and couldn’t be more excited to live her disco dreams! Past credits include: Florika in The Hunchback of Norte Dame and Wife/Ensemble in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Music Theatre Works); Velma in Chicago (Big Noise Theatre); Spamalot (Metropolis). You will also see her perform in Porchlight’s New Faces Sing Broadway 1987 this April! Other Credits include: Vocalist at Universal Studios Japan and Production Vocalist for Norwegian Cruise Line.
DWAYNE EVERETT (Ensemble) is honored to be making his Venus Cabaret Theatre debut with Priscilla! Recent credits include The Nutcracker (The House Theatre of Chicago); Bright Star (Boho Theatre) and several productions at About Face Theatre, Brown Paper Box Co., and Haven Theatre. Dwayne holds a BA in Theatre from Columbia College Chicago. Dwayne is proudly represented by DDO Artists Agency.
DONICA LYNN (Diva) ecstatically returns home to Mercury Theater Chicago where she was last seen in The Color Purple, Barnum and Today’s A Good Day, her cancer benefit concert. She was named the Chicago Tribune’s 2016 Person of the Year in Theatre. Select credits include 42nd St, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Cat On Hot Tin Roof, Rock of Ages (Drury Lane); Confessions of a P.I.M.P., A Wonder In My Soul (Victory Gardens); Sophisticated Ladies, Dreamgirls, Call Me Madam (Porchlight); Caroline or Change (Court Theater) and Ghost (Theater at the Center). Donica is an ambassador for C.A.C.T.A. (Chicago Actors Called To Action) an AEA, SAG/AFTRA member and a 3x brain tumor survivor. She is represented by Stewart Talent and is a two-time Jeff Award winner.
MATTHEW MILES (Bob) is thrilled to be making his maiden journey through the outback of Venus Cabaret and upon Priscilla! Matthew was last seen at the Mercury in The Christmas Schooner and Avenue Q. Recent credits include: Chicago Fire, The Onion Labs, Route 66 Theatre, Drury Lane, Griffin Theatre, Theo Ubique, Bailiwick Chicago and Jim Henson Productions. He would like to send a reminder about the Australia brushfires and consider offering help by visiting www.wwf.org/au
ROY SAMRA (Ensemble) is thrilled to make his Mercury Theater Chicago debut with Priscilla! Previous credits include work with Kokandy Productions, Refuge Theatre Project, Lifeline Theatre, Circle Theatre, Underscore Theatre, and Pride Films and Plays. Much love and light to his dearest friends, family and to Doug for the unconditional guidance and joy they all bring to his life, and to you for supporting live entertainment. Proud Oklahoma City University graduate. Cheers, mates!
JASMINE LACEY YOUNG (Shirley/Marion/Ensemble) is so excited to be making her Mercury Theater Chicago debut with Priscilla! She graduated from the Chicago College of Performing Arts in May, and her recent credits include: Wonder Women: The Musical (Chicago Musical Theatre Festival); America’s Best Outcast Toy (Pride Films and Plays); The Buddy Holly Story (Metropolis).
About Mercury Theater Chicago
The beautifully renovated Mercury Theater Chicago is located in the heart of the Southport Corridor at 3745 North Southport Avenue, within a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques just steps from Wrigley Field. A delightful destination, Mercury Theater Chicago is a live-theater seating 290 people, adjoining Venus Cabaret Theater (seating 80).