Priscilla On Broadway Hits 100! And Nick Adams Tells All!

It appears that producer Bette Midler, has a hit on her hands!  Following hit productions in Australia, London and Toronto, Priscilla Queen of the Desert opened to critical acclaim on March 20 at the Palace Theatre and recently celebrated it’s 100th performance on Broadway. It’s the feel-good, happy joyous show of the year! Sequins and lights, feathers and fringe, it’s a spectacular big party, not to be missed!

Priscilla’s global success and now Broadway  is growing at leaps and bounds.  #1 Cast recording on Billboard charts; #1 selling new musical on Broadway this season;  Priscilla  recently joined the Millionaires Club with box office earnings!

Heck, Governor Cuomo even held his fundraiser at Priscilla last week  and Australian actor Tony Sheldon (Bernadette) is up for  a Tony this weekend. Sheldon says, “after 3 years of edits of changes and revisions, I  think this is the PRIMO PRISCILLA!”  –  Sheldon has played the part Bernadette over 1,000 times in Australia and London alone!  FYI …Tony Sheldon has been nominated for every award he’s eligible for on Broadway this season including Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League awards and a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He has been honored with a Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut.     And his AUNT  is  70’s pop star Helen Reddy.

The show also stars WILL SWENSON (Tick/Mitzi) and  Broadway Darling  NICK ADAMS (Adam/Felicia)  who was nominated for the 2011 Astaire Award for Best Male Dancer and won two Audience Choice Awards for Favorite Breakthrough Performance and Favorite Diva Performance for his performance in Priscilla.

We caught up with Nick last week, who took time to chat with about the show and other New York things….

BGNY: 20 dance-floor classics and a dazzling array of more than 500 outrageous costumes, 200 hats and headdresses and 72 wigs ! And you wear 21 costumes!  WOW!

Nick: I have a dresser who helps me backstage. He  is with me the entire show, but we sometimes have 4 people hidden in the bus helping me make a quick change. My favorite is the silver suit I wear atop the shoe.

I know, it’s crazy! When we started rehearsing the show – without even adding in the costumes or lighting – I lost like 15 pounds. It’s like non-stop dancing, cardio and sweating. It’s quite a workout, so I don’t have worry about about cardio – which I hate. And they wanted to me to lose a bit of my muscle – so that has been nice – not having to spend so much time at the gym!

And Nick comments on his co-stars Tony and Will : They are a dream team. I love those men like family. We are a family. The chemistry onstage is so true because we are thick as thieves offstage. I have never worked with such encouraging, inspiring actors. They make me better every night.

BGNY: How does it feel  to create an original leading Broadway role?

Nick: Well,  it’s interesting cause anytime anybody ever said like, “Do you have a dream role?” That’s what I would say is that “I wanted to originate a role and in a new Broadway show.” I think it’s been the most like exciting and freeing experience because I’ve had the liberty to sort of just play in and bring a lot of like what I thought I wanted to bring to it, and our creative team, our director really allowed me to kind of have my own spin on it and bring a different energy to this part and then in the West End Production and what they had in Australia.

As actors, what we wanna do is to really feel like we’re creating character and not mimicking somebody else’s performance or fitting like a specific mold of a different actor, so to get to like build this person from the ground up has been awesome to know that, for always and like theatrical history that would have been my role. Pretty great.

BGNY: Your first love is Broadway –  that’s obvious. But I saw you in An Englishman in New York and Sex and the City 2 , you have done a couple soaps….Do you want to do more acting on film?

Nick: Oh, absolutely. I mean I grew up wanting to be an actor and my dream was to do Broadway shows. I don’t know, I just love live theater and I love that like instant sort of gratification of an audience sitting there and getting to see their response, that’s really exciting to me.

To be completely honest, I mean the most lucrative side of acting is with TV and film, financially. So, absolutely. I absolutely want to explore more of that.  I just kept notching off goals, each show that I did sort of fulfilled some type of goal of mine. At times I feel like I’ve maxed out on the Broadway scene and  it’s  like, what else can I do  to top this now?   Which is mind-blowing to me that I’ve done it. So now I’ve just set some new sites on some other things. Broadway is always gonna be where I feel like home and my place, but I definitely wanna move into some areas that could help me pay my rent a little bit more.

BGNY: Now that you’ve done so much, is your goal list getting  longer or shorter?

Nick: I think it gets longer, ‘cause I think each one unlocks a new possibility. It’s longer ‘cause when I was a kid it was like, “I wanna be on Broadway.” And then it was, “I wanna be starring in a Broadway show.” And now it keeps growing. I think it’s healthy though, keeps me motivated, keeps me pro-active.

BGNY: What about more singing??  I saw (heard) some YouTubes Video of you singing…Is there a Nick Adams CD possibly in your future? ( NY State of Mind  and After Party 2 and  OnTheOtherSide )

Nick: Actually…potentially…there could be. I did a concert at Birdland, it was a one man show, they invited me to come do a night. It was so much work to put together, but yet so much fun and so rewarding. It was like an hour and half of me singing, with a three piece band and it was great. And that was maybe the first time I really thought about a cd or recording….I am not a song writer by any means. But a lot of people have expressed interest in  me possibly doing something. I started out as a singer first and foremost as a kid. And now with Priscilla, it’s given me a chance to really show people what I can do. So who knows – we’ll see!

BGNY: As an out actor, do you look to Broadway leading men like Cheyenne Jackson for inspiration?

Absolutely —If there was a career I could model mine after, it would be Cheyenne Jackson because he is fantastic, incredibly talented, and active in the gay community. I’ve just started  to dabble in some TV and film, and I think it’s sort of the natural way it goes. If you have a successful theater career, it’s a much easier transition. I’ve always just wanted to be an actor… in any genre. I’m hoping the opportunities open up even more than they already have. I aspire to be like Cheyenne  because he comes from the ensemble and was an understudy and then a leading man. It’s so surreal this is actually what’s happened to me.

On opening night, he sent me this huge bouquet of orchids to my dressing room and this amazing card that’s taped on my vanity. When I was in college, I came to the city and I saw “All Shook Up” and Cheyenne was the star and I thought he was amazing and knew that’s what I wanted to do. So now, being in the same theater and having him send me those flowers, its just crazy how things work out.

BGNY: Since this is Best Gay New York – we’re always looking for what’s hot, what’s new, what’s next – any favorite place you want to share with us? 

Nick: There is this new place, I have been raving about! It’s right in the theatre district, in Hells Kitchen, on 9th Avenue  between 45-46th, and it’s called Ember Room. It just opened a couple months ago and is some of the best food I have ever had!

It’s sort of an Asian American Fusion sort of Barbeque…they have things like Chocolate Ribs, Red Chilli Sea Bass, Bacon wrapped meatloaf…everything is so beautifully presented and the flavor is unlike anything I have ever had. I have been there three times in the last week! I am trying to get through everything on the menu! And it’s reasonable – especially for this neighborhood. The other night we had 3 appetizers, 2 entrees and a bottle of Proseco, for under $100. The portions are hearty and the quality is amazing. I’m obsessed with the place!

BGNY: Obviously, theater keeps you in NY – do you love, love, love NY? Or could you see yourself anywhere else?

Nick: I love this city. I think even if I didn’t do this, I would still want to be here. When I was about 15 years old, I came here for the first time, and I knew I wanted to do theater and be an actor, but I had never been here. We drove here from Pennsylvania with my family, and the minute I could see the city, the minute the skyline came into view, I was just overwhelmed with this sense of…that’s my home, that’s where I am going to live. And I never get tired or over it here. If leave or go on vacation, I can’t wait to get back. Even though it can be hectic here and the energy like…maniacal at times…I guess I crave that.  I love the warm weather and the beaches in Los Angels and California…and that is something I could definitely get into – but I could never not have a place here in the city. I think I will always have to have a place here.

BGNY: It’s the same thing for us when we come to NY – there is this ENERGY here.

Nick: Yeah, it’s like the center of the universe. I love it that someone can come to this city and make shit happen! It’s so crazy to think that I came here from this little small town and now doing the things I dreamt of as a little kid – and this is where I made it happen – and I think with any profession – you come here, and everything is at your fingertips. It really is a magical place. I love it here!

Thank you! Nick Adams for sharing your time with us!

Special links of interest –

For more of Nick Adams check out his blog

Priscilla on Broadway  Tickets, info and news

Plan a Party at Priscialla – use the exclusive Concierge Service!

Sneak peaks backstage at Priscialla from
and Nicks video blog  Muscles and Mascara series  – over 20 videos!


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