Dame Edna will pack her Special Tony Award for live theatrical achievement in a steamer trunk July 2, after her final performance in The Royal Tour, at Broadway's "tucked away" (her term) Booth Theatre.
Previews for the show began Sept. 14, 1999, for a run that was expected to last to summer 2000, but no official close date was announced until now. A North American tour follows. The complete schedule will be announced in days, a spokesman said.
Dame Edna will leave New York with crowded luggage: Beside the silvery pink wigs, the diamond-studded spectacles and the pumps are a Special Theatre World Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award for special achievement and a Drama Desk nomination for solo performance.
The comic creation of Australian Barry Humphries, Dame Edna is the self proclaimed megastar housewife who dons tiaras and bugle-beaded gowns and dishes out her singular, often politically-incorrect views about modern life.
The nearly 10-month run at the Booth has been a sensation, and set records at the theatre. In fall 1999, Dame Edna: The Royal Tour reported a single-day record ticket sale of $90,654, to be surpassed days later with a $92,741 one-day take. *
The show is presented by Leonard Soloway, Chase Mishkin, Steven M. Levy and Jonathan Reinis. Designers are Kenneth Foy (set), Stephen Adnitt (costumes), Jason Kantrowitz (lighting) and Peter Fitzgerald (sound).
Accompanied now and then by on-stage pianist Phil Reno (Andrew Ross and David Gursky also played in the run) and two leggy "Edanettes" Roxane Barlow and Amy Heggins (and, earlier, Tamlyn Brooke Shusterman), Edna entertains Broadway audiences with talk of England's Royal family, baby sitters, the lifestyle choices of her children (ushering in the song, "I Never Thought I'd Meet So Many Friends of Kenny...") and her late husband's prostate difficulties. She also tends to remark on audience members' clothing choices and home decorating skills, but only "in the most loving way."
Former Monty Python extra Ian Davidson contributes additional material to the evening, subtitled "The Show That Listens."
Humphries created Edna -- described as a "Melbourne housewife chanteuse swami monstre sacre" -- in 1956. The character first made a splash in Britain with the 1969 show Just a Show. Subsequent London ventures have included A Night with Dame Edna, Back with a Vengeance and 1996's Look at Me When I'm Talking to You.
For tickets and information on Dame Edna call (212) 239-6200.