Nick Adams of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: Interview

By Jeff Walsh

Nick Adams has been in three of my favorite shows: A Chorus Line, La Cage Aux Folles, and now he is one of the leads in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, a new musical on Broadway based on the Australian movie. Sadly at this point in time, I've only seen the movie version of Priscilla, which I've adored for years, but that will be remedied as soon as possible.

For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, Priscilla is a road trip picture with two drag queens and a transvestite on a road trip through the Australian outback with a lot of campy bitchery and disco anthems peppered throughout.

Nick, 27, became more visible when he appeared in the revivial of A Chorus Line. He got press when he landed a 2(x)st underwear campaign, landing the shoot over his Chorus Line co-star Mario Lopez, which the media turned into a feud that both actors deny (publicly, at least).

He then appeared as one of The Cagelles in La Cage, where he stole every scene he was in as the odd drag queen out. And now, he recently opened Priscilla on Broadway, landing one of the main roles in the show, as well as the funniest, bitchiest, showiest roles in the piece.

In the movie, his role was played by a young unknown Guy Pearce. There's a good chance that magic will repeat itself with Nick's career.

Nick and I chatted on a spotty phone connection this week, and here's what we had to say:

What's it like going up on stage and being in such an over the top gay show like this?

It's incredible. The show is an absolute blast and I've never done a show before that had audiences respond the way they do to this, so it's just overwhelming. It's a dream come true, and I'm so happy the audiences love it so much.

From what I've seen online, most people that go can't wait to see it again...

We have a lot of repeat offenders that have seen it like 18 times. It's crazy.

Yeah, I can't wait until I move to NYC so I can start doing things like that... I'm pretty confident that when I come home for Christmas, you'll still be running.

We will be around. I'll put that out there.

And the thing that strikes me is that, when you see pictures of you on the Internet, the thing that doesn't really come to mind is 'Oh, he'd make a really cute girl!' You're all muscley and ripped, so how does this work in casting?

Well, in La Cage, the character I played was sort of an odd man out, sticking out like a sore thumb. So, I just look like a muscly guy in a dress. And the character they allowed me to create around that made it work for that show.

And with Priscilla, he's supposed to be more of an androgynous sort of performer. It's not trying to fool anyone into thinking he's a woman. That's just his form of performance and entertainment.

In the book of the show, it mentions my character's body and, in the casting process, they asked me if I would lose some thigh for the role, so I ended up dropping like 10 pounds of muscle for the show. Which has been nice, because I don't have to try to work at keeping it on, so it's a blessing in disguise to give that a break for a minute and just do fitness that revolves around the show and for what the show demands of me.

I never thought I was going to be a drag queen on Broadway, but this is actually the third time. My Broadway debut was in Chicago and I was the standby for Mary Sunshine, which is also a drag role, but it's the way the cards kind of fell.

But it's so much fun. I love the heart of the show. I love the campiness, the spectacle, and it really feels that I'm playing someone completely different from myself, which is the most fun thing to do as an actor, to do something that's far removed from you.