December 13, 2013
Hit musical to be staged in BA this summerWednesday, October 23, 2013
In the works: Priscilla to get Argentine version in 2014
Musical theatre is still very much alive in Buenos Aires, with lots of proposals catering for all tastes. One of the most successful musicals in the world, Priscilla, premieres in Buenos Aires next January with an impressive production and a talented cast, starring Pepe Cibrián Campoy, Alejandro Paker, Juan Gil Navarro, Omar Calicchio and Mirta Wons.
At a press conference yesterday at Lola Membrives theatre, famous director, playwright and actor Cibrián Campoy told the Herald that as soon as he knew that producers were thinking of staging the show in Buenos Aires, he called them to play the role of Bernardette, a cool and funny transsexual.
Cibrián Campoy is a contemporary icon of local musicals. His version of Dracula was a success all over the country. “This is a story about anti-discrimination, an issue for which I have struggled a lot. My character is based on Carlotta, the first transsexual in Australia and I identify with her.”
Cibrián also explained that he wants to be treated as a peer and that he is looking forward to being directed by Valeria Ambrossio.
Paker studied with Cibrián when he first arrived in Buenos Aires 20 years ago. This is the sixth play he is preparing this year — the others include El Principito, Next to Normal and Company. “I am a workaholic. When I saw the film in the 90s, I loved the character that I’m playing now.” A few months ago, he was in New York but Priscilla was sold out. “I just took a picture with the advert, but I didn’t know that in a few months I will be starring it here,” he said.
Gil Navarro, best-known for playing leading roles on television — he is currently starring in Vecinos en Guerra — is taking singing and yoga lessons to face this big challenge. He said he isn’t a fan of Broadway-like musicals, so he suggested his role (Adam) be more “punk”. “I took some days before accepting the project and I analyzed it with my wife. She asked me, ‘When will somebody offer you something so different from what you have done?’ I wanted to do it and I’m here. This is a huge present, a great privilege. I have a lot to learn from this project.”
Rehearsals start in a few days but Gil Navarro is already training at home. Cibrián gave him his first high-heel shoes as a present and they seem to be working. “Mónica Antonopulos, who works with me on television, told me, ‘You will see the power women have in high-heel shoes,’ and she was right.”
The musical is based on the Oscar-winning film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, written and directed by Stephan Elliot. The music score includes pop hits of the 80s and 90s. Priscilla, the musical, was a box-office sucess on Broadway and the West End.
It tells the story of Tick, Bernadette and Adam, two drag queens and a transsexual. The glamorous trio from Sydney set out in a large tour bus christened Priscilla, aiming to perform at a remote hotel. During the journey, they meet different characters and unexpected situations arise.
Other versions of Priscilla have been staged in Sydney, Melbourne, New Zeland, London, New York, Italy, Spain and Brazil.
The local musical is produced by Gabriel Garcia for GRG Producciones, directed by Valeria Ambrosio (actors), Gaby Goldman (music) and Elizabeth de Chapeaurouge (choreography).