What did you find most surprising about my interview with Lynne Shankel? Have you seen All About Me? Did you think Michael Feinstein held his own, or was he just one of Dame Edna’s props? Please leave any questions or suggestions for topics in the comments!
Well last night, all these performers had to do to convince me was open their mouths.
Played by the Australian comedian Barry Humphries, Dame Edna’s comedy is sharper than ever. Her improvised routine of honing in on grinning audience members and humiliating them never gets boring. What’s so effective about her delivery is that Edna never appears to be insulting intentionally—every caustic quip is delivered in a tone that would sound the same if she were saying she loved you. Edna is miraculous, because she is a short-sighted, self-absorbed, politically incorrect snob—yet you can’t help but love her! She commands the stage of the Henry Miller’s Theatre (soon to be the Stephen Sondheim Theatre) using her usual staples of gladiolas, muscular male dancers, and boas. Edna also looks blindingly glittery in her wild costumes, designed by Stephen Adnitt. One particular bedazzled frock displayed a massive collar that was the Sydney Opera House, with Edna’s head poking out through the middle of the famed building. It was a design fit for Lady Gaga, which isn’t too shabby for the 76-year-old dame. Read more
When Dame Edna Everage and Michael Feinstein walked into the journalist-filled private room of the Red Eye Grill for their press conference last night, there was a gasp from the crowd. I’m positive it was due to the hulking presence of Ms. Everage, who appears easily over six-feet tall, and the stark contrast to her companion, the rather diminutive Mr. Feinstein. These two entertainers, varying in many ways than merely the physical, were there to promote their Broadway show, All About Me, which begins previews this Sunday.
“I’m not at all sure what I’m here for,” Everage said in her innocent, elderly coo. “People say to me, ‘Edna, what kind of show are you going to do?’ and I say, ‘I never divulge and I never think about what I’m going to do until the minute before I step onto the stage.’”
“I can vouch for that,” Feinstein deadpanned.
This mismatched pair—Feinstein, the pianist/cabaret owner/music archivist, and Dame Edna, the cross-dressing alter ego of comedian Barry Humphries—will open a musical-comedy review on March 18, complete with dance numbers and duets at the Henry Miller’s Theatre. It was publicized that the performers had intended on unveiling separate, solo shows this same Broadway season, but decided to join forces due to lack of theater availability.
***VIDEO AFTER JUMP: Dame Edna heckles an innocent waitress who gets too close*** Read more
It was a beautiful, 90-degree summer day to wait in line on 42 St. for $10 tickets to the first preview performance of Bye Bye Birdie. That is, if you didn’t have a job. I stopped by the line for the ambitious marketing stunt when the box office opened at noon. At that point, there were 400 people stretching down 43 St. where the box office for the new Henry Miller’s Theatre is, through the covered passageway of the Bank of America Tower, and to the end of 42 St. at Avenue of the Americas. The line was moving sssslllloooww, but for those with the time (and skin) to burn, it was worth the wait for cheap tickets (up to two per person) to the first performance in the new Broadway theater on September 10.