Dame Edna Departs as Sir Les Patterson Arrives

News   Dame Edna Departs as Sir Les Patterson Arrives The Broadway return of Barry Humphries in Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance ends its run May 1 at the Music Box Theatre.
Dame Edna Everage
Dame Edna Everage Photo by Greg Gorman

The production will have played 163 regular performances and 17 previews. Dame Edna, which played a successful tryout last summer at San Francisco's Curran Theatre, began Broadway previews Nov. 5, 2004 before officially opening Nov. 21. Originally scheduled to end its limited engagement March 13, 2005, an extension through June 4 was announced. The show now closes a month earlier, May 1.

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: Back with a Vengeance 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.

Those clamoring for more Barry Humphries characters might want to check out his May 2 evening at the Zipper Theatre (336 West 37th Street), which will feature Humphries as Sir Les Patterson. Entitled Sir Les Patterson: Unzipped!, the performance will begin at 8 PM. A flyer for the performance explains the show is "an evening of Australian charm and tasteful eroticism with Australia's Cultural Ambassador to the United States." With typical Humphries humor, the flyer also features the tongue in-cheek presentation credit "Dame Edna Everage profoundly regrets" and warns, "[Sir Les Patterson: Unzipped] contains obscene language, offensive gestures and obscure references. This performance may be filmed for future broadcast. There will be no intermission (lest anyone attempt to escape)." Tickets are available by calling (212) 239-6200.

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.