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‘America’s Got Talent’ coming to Cobb Energy Centre Nov. 6; we talk to Prince Poppycock

Prince-Poppycock-on-Americas-Got-Talent-Audtion-Video

Viewers of NBC’s popular summer reality series “America’s Got Talent” over the years seem to prefer good old-fashioned singers, no matter how many wacky knife swallowers and magic acts the producers throw out there.

Within the singer category, they absolutely adore pop-opera acts. The 2008 winner was an opera singer. Last year, the runner-up was an opera singer. This past summer, two operatic performers landed in the top four.

One, 10-year-old Jackie Evancho, is a young prodigy with angelic vocal skills.  (She unfortunately won’t be at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center show Saturday featuring the top 10 acts. Given her age, her parents wanted her to spend less time on the road.)

But the other finalist, Prince Poppycock, went further than many people expected. Played by John Quale, an openly gay performing artist, the flamboyant character is a dandy who dons 18th century wigs and outfits and sings operettas with infectious fun, bravado and grace.

“I used to do my act for 20 somethings in Los Angeles,” said Quale in an interview earlier this month. “Now I’m doing it for blue-haired ladies in the Midwest who just love the act. They’ve been incredibly supportive. I wasn’t expecting that.”

On the tour, he’s been performing two six-minute acts: an extended version of Figaro’s aria from “The Barber of Seville” he did in his original “Talent” audition and Queen’s ”Bohemian Rhapsody”  - minus the not-so-family-friendly line about killing a man.

Prince Poppycock, which Quale developed in 2006, has an entire back story:  ”He is not from this world. He’s from another dimension. He’s kicked out of court by his arch-nemesis Baron Nefarious. Marauding space pirates pick him up and he learns to be a man, not a self-indulgent vain party boy.”

Quale did not intend to audition. His boyfriend signed him up. And he didn’t have expectations of getting far. “I had no idea how it would play out,” he said. “I felt like in the end, I bucked the trend. I’ve been more of an underground performance artist.”

To be more mainstream, he said he’s had to cut out the bawdier jokes but “given the resources at my disposal, I can fully realize my vision more.”

During the tour, he’s also been able to expound for a few moments about acceptance. And he credits show host Jerry Springer for allowing him to do that.

“I wanted him to do that,” said Springer in a separate phone interview. “He has a wonderful message. It’d be a waste just to laugh at his act and not realize it’s the tears of a clown.”

“I was a victim of hazing and bullying and homophobia growing up,” Quale said, in Virginia and Massachusetts.

“It’s very relevant to what’s going on now,” Springer added, alluding to some high-profile anti-gay crimes hitting the news recently.

After the tour, Quale hopes to create his own Vegas-style revue act with costume changes, props and a blend of classical and pop-rock music.

“I’m not going to talk about my sexuality in any of my performances,” he said. “I don’t think I ever will. I think it’s pretty obvious I’m a homosexual. I’ve never hidden that.”

Here was his original on-air introduction on “America’s Got Talent”:

IN CONCERT

“America’s Got Talent” Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, $51.70 to $112.65 with fees, Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000

16 comments Add your comment

IronMike

October 29th, 2010
8:11 am

I can’t believe I’m doing this…….but here it goes –

FIRST

i already know i can't sing

October 29th, 2010
9:11 am

also I can’t believe the ticket prices

[...] America’s Got Talent coming to the Cobb Energy Center in Marietta Nov. 6, maybe this is the nudge that gets you off your [...]

Mo Schreibman

October 29th, 2010
11:53 am

This Prince Copycat should go to the back of the line where he belongs because Milton Berle did this act sixty years ago on his television program and he did not even have to be gay to do it. When this Prince person can dress up like a non-gay person in a business suit and make me believe it then I will the first one impressed until then let us not hear anymore about it if you do not mind please.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Mark Nezzarelli

October 29th, 2010
4:30 pm

“When this Prince person can dress up like a non-gay person in a business suit and make me believe it then I will the first one impressed until then let us not hear anymore about it if you do not mind please.”

His costumes are part of his act and one of the reasons he was so popular. Until you learn how not to write run-on sentences, let us not hear anymore from you.

Prez Obozo

October 29th, 2010
5:58 pm

Would much rather see this show than the weirdo’s from American Idol however the tickets are a little out of my price range.

Eddie

October 29th, 2010
8:32 pm

Who would go to this?? For real??

Nata

October 29th, 2010
10:46 pm

I CAN NOT BELIEVE SOME OF THE COMMENTS! JOHN QUALE IS SUCH A GREAT ARTIST WHO PUTS SMILES ON MANY MANY FACES! I THINKS SOME GUYS ARE EXTREMELY JEALOUS OF HIM!…HE IS GORGEOUS, HAS GREAT VOICE, IS MORE CREATIVE THAN MANY OF THOSE GUYS GATHERED TOGETHER! HE UPLIFTS PEOPLE’S MOODS, DOES THE HARD WORK OF DESIGNING AND CREATING THE OUTFITS & THE MAKE UP EVERY NIGHT HE HAS TO PERFORM! I SUGGEST TO SOME GUYS TO TAKE A PILL AND GET OVER THEIR JEALOUSY AND STOP BAD MOUTHING SUCH A GOOD MAN! + IT IS NOT ANY BODY’S BUSINESS WHAT HE WEARS AND WHAT KIND OF LIFE STYLE HE LIVES! HE IS A TRUE ARTIST UNLIKE MANY OTHERS WITH CONNECTIONS!

Eric

October 30th, 2010
9:59 am

I do mind, very much, Mo. PP is a very talented young man and he deserves all the accolades he gets. If you have a problem with that, you have a problem. Maybe a little therapy would make you feel better.

Joey

October 30th, 2010
4:26 pm

I love his stage presence and voice! I will be there to see him!

voice of reason

October 30th, 2010
5:18 pm

i don’t care who this guys chooses to love, he’s very talented singer and entertainer. and btw mo, i always wondered about milton berle too, he was always dressing up in women’s clothes so maybe he was gay too but he was a good enterainer too so what does it matter?!

doug

October 30th, 2010
8:08 pm

MO – WHERE ON EARTH DID YOU HEAR MILTON BERLE WAS STRAIGHT? I BET YOU THOUGHT ROCK HUDSON WAS STRAIGHT, TOO.

Traffic Headache

November 1st, 2010
7:00 am

I’ll avoid it, thanks. I have no use for “America’s Got Talent.”

Virginia

November 4th, 2010
3:32 pm

Mo: Milton Berle although quite amusing, never sang an operatic aria in his life. You should probably view a little bit of Mr. Quale’s performance before you go making such broad statements. His act is a multi-faceted combination of voice, costume and choreography. Great singing, fabulous costume and entertaining dance. I’d give it an A+ and I am not alone, there are over 65,500 fans on his facebook page as of this post and the number rises higher everyday. Lighten up and live a little, watch the performance, I think it might make you smile if you’ll let yourself.

Patricia

November 5th, 2010
12:36 am

We’ll be there! Our family would shell out any amount of money to see this man live on stage. He is absolutely brilliant!