So why am I still glad I waited? Because an article in The New York Times prompted me to change much of what I had written. It answered a few questions I posed, and, unfortunately, confirmed something I suspected all along. That most interesting article can be found HERE, and I direct your attention to the paragraph/quote about photographing transvestites. Then, of course, the rest of the article reveals the motives behind the advertising of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Interestingly, the article did not change my overall impression of the logo or advertising for the show. No, I still think it is the worst of any show this season. By far. And to add insult to injury, I am now kind of pissed at the producers for hiding behind a "point of view" shift when they actually have "dumbed down" or dare I say, "dragged down" the script to pander to what they think American audiences can handle (I got through Billy Elliot just fine without a glossary of terms or a significant script change. Same with Blood Brothers, Oliver! and both M. Butterfly and Miss Saigon. And all were at least popular, if not critical hits here in the US). And as far as the "gentler approach" to the drag queens, etc. all I can say is this: Bette Midler is a producer! Hello? She's so gay friendly, she's practically a gay man herself. For shame, Bette. For shame. You of all people. I feel so betrayed. Really.
Of course, the logo and advertising, is an insult period. Has any show, so chock full of pretty stuff: scenery, flashy costumes, lights, sets and HOT cast members ever had so atrociously ugly an ad campaign. If a gay guy designed this, TURN IN YOUR GAY CARD!
In a heinous effort to "get them in the seats first, educate them after they are tricked into the seats," the producers have chosen to highlight the 3 Divas who apparently narrate and sing suspended above the set. (And please, no offense at all to the three ladies in question, who are, I am sure, multi-talented and worth seeing all by themselves.) The
I can't blame the producers for wanting to attract the broadest audience possible. That is just good business. But I'd have spent my ad money trying to show the fun aspects of the show, the tie-in to the film, and all the ways that this ISN'T just another La Cage aux Folles. And, let's be honest, about two things. One, the initial audience is going to be primarily gay guys no matter how much you advertise otherwise. And two, if the show is really as great as I've heard it is, the straight audience will come, anyway. The original La Cage couldn't have played the Palace all those years on gay patrons alone. If you ask me, the one thing an audience will feel before they even buy a ticket is that they are being pandered to or in someway being duped. You might get the straight guy in the seat, but nothing will make any guy get up and leave like being lied to and cheated.
And that has zero to do with sexual orientation and acceptance and all to do with honesty.
Grade: D+ (F overall, A for the bus part of the logo and the lettering)
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