Suit Up in Sequins and Grab Your Heels: it's Time for a Trip to the Outback
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Suit Up in Sequins and Grab Your Heels: it's Time for a Trip to the Outback

Outback trip
A shot from the 2006 stage production of The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Fairfax Media via Getty Images

This year marks the 21st birthday of 1994's cult favorite The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and to fête the occasion, Broken Hill, Australia’s Palace Hotel is throwing a three-day long birthday party September 11-13. Everyone is invited, so it may be about time to break out the feather boas, false eyelashes, and impractical stilettos.

For those not familiar with the film, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert stars Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving, and Terrence Stamp as three performers heading to a drag queen show in Alice Springs, Australia. Their journey through the outback in a sluggish RV turned into the quintessential Australian road trip movie and was one of the first films to project positive images of drag queens onto the silver screen.

To properly celebrate it, the aptly named Broken Heels Festival, set at the Palace Hotel where the movie was made, will feature everything from an ABBA cover band to a “drag on main drag” parade and, naturally, Priscilla-themed drag acts with the best drag kings and queens coming to pay homage to the movie.

Other festival events include visits to the bus used in the Priscilla musical, a chance to drink Bloody Marys in your finest muu-muu, shopping, salon visits, ping pong, confetti showers, comedy, cabaret, and much more.

The film’s director Stephan Elliott will also be on hand to host a screening and Q&A. Local resident June Bennett, who played a homophobic barfly, will also be talking about the film's legacy.

As a more serious hat tip to the film that came out at the height of the AIDS crisis, a local LGBT health organization will be be there offering rapid HIV testing for the first time in regional Australia. There will also be a screening of a documentary called Starlady about a transgender youth worker in a central Australian Indigenous community.

On Sunday, the party shimmies over to the nearby ghost town of Silverton where there will be another drag show and a visit to the Mad Max museum.

According to the website, the dress code for all events is “Fabulous,” because “this is your chance to shine darling!”

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