dame edna's glorious goodbye

Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye, the Farewell Tour

Ok, I’m a little upset with all of you.  Why have you been keeping the incredible Dame Edna to yourself?  I was aware she’s made a few trips to Los Angeles over the years, but no one told me she’s not to be missed.  Wait, you didn’t know this either?  Well, take this tip and run with it before it’s too late… and it **is** almost too late.  GO SEE Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye, the Farewell Tour at the Ahmanson, now.

Yes, Dame Edna is the kooky/fabulous (depending on your personal esthetic) older lady with outlandish sparkly dresses, lavender hair and rhinestone cat eyeglasses.  You will recognizer her, I assure you.  On a whim, I decided to go see her show… because, well, it’s her last.  Why not?  I wasn’t entirely sure how that would go since I knew next to nothing about her.  So let me help you out with a bit of that.

Dame Edna is a humdinger of a fictitious gal created (and performed) by Barry Humphries, whom she refers to, in her act, as her manager.  She made her first appearance in 1955 as Mrs. Norm Everage, an “average Australian housewife” in suburbia Australia.  Several years later Edna (Barry Humphries) moved to London to continue the act.  Edna grew in station and popularity until she was elevated to demand in the 70’s.  She was a superstar, then megastar… and finally comes to us as a “GIGASTAR”.  Lucky us.  And do the math… this is 60 years in the making.  Double lucky us, she’s got this shtick down.

Dame Edna describes her show as “an intimate conversation between two friends, one of whom is a lot more interesting than the other”.  I call it a hilarious wonder and delight.  From the opening announcement, I was giggling.  The show begins with a short history in the form of a movie, which had me laughing more.  There were a few song and dance moments.  But the bulk of her performance is indeed a conversation… or a stand up act.  Perhaps the best standup I’ve ever seen.  And I’ve seen a few.  There’s some crowd interaction.  If you are fortunate enough to be seated in the front few rows be ready to laugh at yourself.  Because the jokes will be at your expense.  She will bring up her children, amongst other topics, that she’s apparently been discussing for years.  Don’t fret if you’ll be hearing about them for the first time.  This isn’t an inside joke.  It’s a gift.  The whole thing is a gift.

She’s a little outrageous.  She’s sometimes offensive.  Probably not for the highly sensitive or easily ruffled… but really, truly for everyone else (of the adult persuasion).

Dame Edna has is joined by a small group of sidekicks to add some youth and variety… including musical director/onstage accompanist Jonathan Tessero.  Simon Phillips is the director of this ship but my assumption is he mostly allows this phenomenal act fly on its own with some spots of fine-tuning here and there.  The set (Brian Thomson) is fun, the costumes (Stephen Adnitt) are a sight… it really is the complete package.  You’ve got some time; there are some bargain ticket prices to be found.  Go, go, go treat yourself to this show.  It’s your last chance to take part in her famous gladioli toss farewell number… and, well, all of it.

Ahmanson Theatre

135 N. Grand Ave. LA

8 pm Tuesdays-Fridays

2 & 8 pm Saturdays

1 & 6:30 pm Sundays

Thru March 15th

213-972-4400 or www.centertheatregroup.org

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