Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance, which played a successful tryout this past summer at San Francisco's Curran Theatre, began Broadway previews Nov. 5 before officially opening Nov. 21, 2004. The production, which was scheduled to end its limited engagement March 13, 2005, had announced an extension through June 4. The show will now close a month earlier, May 1. The show will have played 163 regular performances and 17 previews.
A press statement announcing the final performance date explains, "Dame Edna, the Tony Award-winning gigastar, has been offered an amazing career opportunity. Suffice it to say, Edna-watchers will be praying for a puff of mauve smoke from the Vatican chimney."
Devised and written by Barry Humphries with additional material by Andrew Ross, Dame Edna also features Wayne Barker as the Master of the Dame's Musick; the Gorgeous Ednaettes, Teri DiGianfelice and Michelle Pampena; and the Equally Gorgeous TestEdnarones, Randy Aaron and Gerrard Carter.
Dubbed Australia's First Lady, Dame Edna is the invention of Barry Humphries, a successful character actor in Europe and Australia as well as an esteemed landscape painter. Some of Humphries' theatrical credits include roles in Waiting for Godot, Oliver! and Maggie May, but his most successful outings have been as Dame Edna, a character he created in 1956. Humphries was given the Order of Australia in 1982 and was endowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Griffith University in Australia in 1994. The Dame found success on Broadway during the 2000 season with her Tony Award-winning show, Dame Edna: The Royal Tour.
Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance plays Tuesdays at 7 PM, Wednesday Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 and 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM.