Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Dame Edna:The Royal Tour"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2001 by Beverly Creasey

"Dame Edna"

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

Dame Edna claims to be working on a new production of "Phaedre" for Broadway but for now Boston audiences will have to be satisfied with the Dame's "Royal Tour" which she says "is tucked away in the tiny Wilbur Theatre." It's clear she wishes the producers had given her the spacious Wang Center instead. She continuously mocks "The Phantom" next door, asking us (rhetorically of course) who is having more fun.

It's us, hands down. The irreverent, politically incorrect Dame spoofs us Americans, lays us out over our politics, and generally abuses us for two hours --- especially audience members caught in her crosshairs. (Watch your step if you're considering the expensive seats.) And you know what? We love every minute of it.

The Dame is Barry Humphries' wildly successful creation: a quick-witted, acid-tongued, pink-haired lady-of-a-certain-age who made it big on television in the United Kingdom. Her show begins with hilarious clips from the Dame's Australian talk show in which she flirted with Sean Connery and slew Charleton Heston with one precious, well placed, slightly off color remark.

Dame Edna comes from a long tradition of celebrated "character personalities". You never saw Cliff Arquette, for example, without his Charley Weaver down-home persona, never saw Foster Brooks without his tipsy alter ego. Dame Edna is so deliciously garish, so delightfully naughty, why would you want to see her creator? She's so much fun, he couldn't compete.

Nothing is sacred to Dame Edith. Her motto/watchword says it all: She "was born with a laugh at the misfortune of others."
Enough said.

"Dame Edna: The Royal Tour" (till 11 March)
246 Tremont Street, BOSTON
1 (617) 931-2787

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide