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Drag Goes Primetime on Australian Network

Priscilla Queen of the Desert Theater Review 2011

Ten's "I Will Survive" will look to find an actor for "Priscilla..." on Broadway

SYDNEY - Look out Broadway there’s another Aussie headed your way.

Network Ten and FremantleMedia Australia have created a new musical theatre competition format with the prize of a role in a Broadway show.

Auditions for the show, I Will Survive, start this week around the country for a male performer aged 21 and over who will pose a ”triple threat” – someone gifted in singing, dancing and acting who will earn a part in iconic musical, Priscilla.  

But in the made-for-TV format the finalists will be invited on a road trip that will retrace the footsteps of the original movie, Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, through Australia’s outback from Sydney to Alice Springs with the contestants required to perform at each outback location.

Its unclear yet who is supplying the outrageous, Oscar, Tony and BAFTA-winning costumes.

During the road trip the judges, mentors and industry professionals will challenge, train and critique the finalists, with eliminations taking place at each stage.

The final four will be flown to New York City, where the musical has just celebrated its first anniversary on Broadway. They will receive training in the lead role of Tick, the character made famous by Hugo Weaving in the original film.

Judges, mentors and other talent have not been finalized yet and an FMA spokesperson wouldn’t confirm if Priscilla creator Stephan Elliot was involved in with the project.

The format, if it works here, will likely be picked up by Fremantle Media for other markets and it's hoped that other shows and roles could be used in a second series.

Network Ten Chief Programming Officer, David Mott, said the format is “big, broad family entertainment with the unique backdrop of iconic locations in our own backyard. Its an exciting prospect for Ten.”

FremantleMedia Australia director of television, Tim Clucas, added: "Although it ends up on Broadway, I Will Survive is so much more than a musical theatre casting show. The winner will have impressed our big name judges in every performance skill - singing, dancing and acting. They will be the ultimate performer. The entertainment world will be theirs for the taking whether it be television, live theatre or Hollywood."

I Will Survive will air on the Ten network later this year.