Saturday, August 26, 2006

QUEEN Spirited - Wigs and Drugs and Rock n ’Roll - INTERVIEWS

It’s a Kinda Magic is one of those alchemical song titles that has become an anthem for a generation. The league of solid fans, diehards old and newish, who have remained steadfast to the tried and true transformative power of "the world’s greatest rock band, QUEEN. "

All the energy and wizardry of Queen has been harnessed in a high rotation musical that continues to inspire and amaze awestruck audiences and according to Pesco a new generation of young internet driven queeny rock disciples.

The atavistic Craig Pesco stars as the band’s frontman, Freddy Mercury. He says of the gay rockmeister, “Freddy is like no other rock frontman, he’s in a world unto his own, he’s not David Lee Roth or Mick Jagger, he’s larger than rock and he moves with extraordinary physical strength”.

Craig pauses. He ponders the aerodynamic Mercury adding, "Freddy’s influences are from ballet, he was fascinated by Ballet, combined with a raw sexuality, strong spirituality and he blended with a vocal range like no one before or since.”

Pesco both parodies and pays homage to Mercury in the show and brings to the role his own kinda magic. Since it first toured in 1998, this stage musical under the fated direction of Pesco has transmogrified a hackneyed musical genre, the tribute band.

Under Pesco’s vision, physical dexterity, unique voice and his guitar laden ensemble have created a spectacular stage tour de force that has all the originality, artistry and authenticity of it’s avatar, the mercurial Mercury himself.

Craig laughs when I suggest he is channeling Mercury, “Funny you should say that I’ve had audience members come up to me during autograph signings and say exactly the same thing”. Craig looks into space as if he is ruminating on the metaphysical realm, “ I don’t know, but what I do know is its very gratifying that these are people who saw Queen at Wembley or on tour in Europe and feel like they’ve relived an original Queen concert phenomenon.”

Four costume changes, the top 40 hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, Champions and I Want To Break Free accompanied by high energy hands in the air choreography bring to light the ever changing persona of Mercury. Pesco admires Mercury’s fearlessness in public and private in traversing the sexy spectrum of masculinity, “his gay sexuality and campness was integral to the music but it was his love of rock and mankind that was his greatest love", says Pesco.

He quips, “ I like camping around in the pink sweater and wig in I Want to Break Free but it’s the black latex cossie where I feel the sexiest. I like to wear lots of flesh, it’s raw.” Freddy too liked it raw too and my god that wonderful hairy chest (Craig is clippered!)

I ask Pesco about Mercury’s hybrid final album just before he died from an AIDS related illness, Made in Heaven, “ this was the album that had the biggest impact on me", reveals Pesco, "it was made just before he died in 1991 and it has such an intense spirituality, He’d traveled from all the Tolkeinesque, dungeons and dragons stuff from his career outset, lived an amazing life and then before he passed away, his songwriting, his wisdom, his turns of phrase and insights, well they’re golden”

Pesco like Mercury, inspires too, it's something magical to do with both physical and metaphysical energies. His sell out tours around Australia, Europe and Canada bear witness to a kinda magic that IS the spirit of Queen.

 The Most Sensational Queen Tribute Ever Staged
 Direct From The UK
 Returns to Australia in 2004
 Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne
 Friday and Saturday, August 20 & 21 , 2004
 Tickets available from Ticketek Phone: 132 849 ON SALE NOW!

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