Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended
"...But I can't fully recommend an Equity show with canned music and an $85 top ticket, especially when the backing track here is a muddy, cheap and bass-heavy glob that simply does not give these gifted performers what they need. I've never known a full-blown Mercury musical to lack any band at all, and sure hope it's not a trend here."
Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended
"...There's some fun to be had in the show's repurposing of '70s and '80s pop tunes, and costume designer Bob Kuhn gets aptly inventive with the drag queens' attire. But the budget allotted to costumes appears to have been taken away from Jonathan Berg-Einhorn's scenic design; on the Mercury's smallish stage, Carter's production feels crowded, busy and cheap. And in a modern context, the show's attitudes about gender aren't so much transgressive as regressive. What a drag."
Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended
"...But though the Mercury production is good-hearted and easy to enjoy, the show feels a little creaky around the edges, even with Chicago legend Honey West as Bernadette, a onetime drag star and now a transwoman who has been living quietly offstage with her younger husband-until his sudden death gives her a reason to escape grief by going on the road again."
Chicago Stage and Screen - Highly Recommended
"...Priscilla, Queen of the Desert would be worth the price of admission just for the costumes which are completely over the top wonderful. Or you might just go to see the wigs which are often rainbow hallucinatory masterpieces. Big shout out to designer Bob Kuhn. But this show isn't just eye candy- this jukebox musical now open at the newly revived Mercury Theater is at its core a solid story of family, both biological and of choice, and is ultimately about being true to yourself. Its backbone is acceptance and love."
Let's Play Theatrical Reviews - Highly Recommended
"...From the book by Stephan Elliot and Allan Scott and based on the film, "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Mercury Theater Chicago brings this cult classic to the stage that is incredibly witty and hilarious. The story about Tick's ambivalence over his life decisions and crossing the Desert for the love of seeing a child has a warm feeling that will bring a tear to your eyes. These will be tears of sadness and complete joy as this production is 100% a blast."
Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended
"...Directed and choreographed by Christopher Chase Carter on a set designed by Jonathan Berg-Einhorn, this is a pretty slick production. The Mercury is a smaller venue with a stage that they have learned to use to its best advantage, and while this set and set pieces are not glitzy, they make up for it with very talented ensemble members. The Divas ( these three ladies are dynamite and change costumes and wigs quite quickly) are Heather J. Beck, Lydia Burke and Jessica Brooke Seals. Darren Patin, a member of the ensemble playing all kinds of roles truly shines as Miss Understanding in the opening number. Brittany D. Parker plays the estranged wife and the son Benji is played by newcomer Gabriel Solis."
WTTW - Highly Recommended
"...The show's endlessly energetic cast is ideal. Designer Robert Kuhn's costumes are a dazzling show all on their own, right down to the collection of stiletto heels. So are the countless wigs by Keith Ryan. And Jonathan Berg-Einhorn's set design (especially the movable bus), along with G. "Max" Maxin IV's lighting, cleverly suggest multiple sites."
Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended
"...Eugene Dizon's magnificent musical direction makes the score of this jubilant jukebox musical so infectious that the audience might wish they could join the cast onstage for a festive sing-along/dance-along. Overflowing with club hits from the 1970's and '80's, it's impossible to simply sit still while songs like "Material Girl," "Go West," "I Love the Nightlife," "I Will Survive," "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "MacArthur Park" flood your brain with memories of a happier, more carefree time. Only a handful of the movie's original tunes have found their way to the stage version, but when you're boogieing to "Hot Stuff" and "Shaking Your Groove Thing," audiences will find themselves totally enchanted by a mirror ball of a "Boogie Wonderland.""
The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended
"...For those looking for a rocking, fun road trip without hefty gas prices, climb aboard PRISCILLA for a spectacle-inspired jaunt across the Outback. The 1994 film by Stephan Elliot has been reincarnated as a juke box musical. The creative team of Elliot and Allan Scott (book), along with musical arrangements and orchestrations by Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy, tell the tale of three Australian drag queens struggling with their identities and each other on a desert journey. The story, predating RuPaul’s Drag Race, loses some of its provocative angst from the 90s movie debut. That heaviness gives way to make room for more high-energy merriment, powerhouse singing and a dazzling, ongoing fashion show (costumes by Bob Kuhn)."
Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Highly Recommended
"...If disco is dead, then it was given a momentary resurrection on Thursday night at Mercury Theater Chicago's opening of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Audiences came ready to groove, many dressed in 70s-inspired garb with a rowdiness appropriate for a story with drag performers at its center."
Third Coast Review - Recommended
"...Boas! Feathers! Dance hits of the '70s! The Mercury Theater's production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert-the Musical had plenty of all three. There was a core fan base of the musical and the movie in the audience who clapped to the beats and sang along when encouraged by the cast. This production is directed and choreographed by Christopher Chase Carter with the verve and polish of a Broadway musical. It is based on the film of the same name and the book by Stephan Elliot (who directed the film) and Allan Scott."
Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended
"...I only have vague memories of the film Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, though I know I enjoyed it and have long wanted to find it streaming. (I'm sure it's there somewhere.) What I did recall was three drag queens on a bus named Priscilla driving around Australia and a lot of disco songs, and that pretty much sums up the plot of the 2008 stage musical version now being given an energetic, entertaining, and enthusiastic production at the Mercury Theater that is made even better by gleefully over-the-top costume and wig design that, I predict, will earn another Jeff nomination for both Robert (Bob) Kuhn and Keith Ryan. (Ryan, whose wigs are so colorful, huge, and extravagant that they sometimes seem to defy the laws of physics, calls this show "a dream come true," and it's easy to see why."
BroadwayWorld - Highly Recommended
"...Based on the Oscar-winning 1994 film "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", the show follows the adventures of a trio of performers consisting of Tick/Mitzi (Josh Houghton), Adam/Felicia (Shaun White) and Bernadette (Honey West) as they traverse from Sidney to Alice Springs in a beat-up old bus they nicknamed Priscilla."