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Priscilla Queen of the Desert - Broadway

A spectacular new musical based on the hit film.

Priscilla's J. Elaine Marcos Channels Her Inner Cheerleader For an Onstage Laugh

Priscilla's J. Elaine Marcos Channels Her Inner Cheerleader For an Onstage Laugh
J. Elaine Marcos

Given the amount of time Broadway actors spend at work, it’s no surprise that they enjoy a good joke—often at a co-worker’s expense! In celebration of April Fool’s Day, Broadway.com asked some of our favorite stars to share their funniest work-related pranks. In some cases, the stars initiated the practical joke; in others, the joke was on them. Read on for true tales of behind-the-scenes tomfoolery.

J. ELAINE MARCOS (Cynthia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert)

"While playing Connie Wong in  the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line, the cast had many long, serious, intense, grueling 'clean up rehearsals,' in which we would come in for four hours and go over and over the combinations until our muscles fell off. To make those hours fly by, the cast secretly decided that for particular rehearsal, we would all dress up as our favorite A Chorus Line character. Unfortunately, our dance captain got wind of that information and warned us via e-mail that he hoped no one intended on dressing up and ruining the rehearsal.

"Next day, we all came to rehearsal in normal gear. We pounded out the dance combos like robots and the tone was somber, like we knew we had to be on our best behavior because we didn't want to get yelled at—until the moment the dance captain said, 'Let's take it from Cheerleader' (Connie Wong's speech where she says 'Cheerleader') and the cast turned to face downstage.

"I did a quick change in the wings, took off my dance leotard and threw on this splashy Dallas Cowgirl Cheerleader two-piece costume. As the cast turned around after I said, 'CHEERLEADER,' you heard gasps...but no laughs. Everyone knew not to laugh, because they would get in trouble for disrupting rehearsal, but I just continued my monologue as the cast watched on the line in amazement... and fear.

"The dance captain just stared. It was like there was an elephant in the room, but no one wanted to acknowledge it. No one acknowledged my costume until after rehearsal, when we could laugh about it. I remember Deidre Goodwin and Paul McGill just looking at me, shaking their heads, but smiling in approval. Afterward, I was literally shaking, thinking, 'Why did I do that? I could have gotten fired. But I guess, anything for a laugh!"

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