Is Broadway Suffering From EDS?

News   Is Broadway Suffering From EDS? Is The Great White Way succumbing to EDS, Edna Depravation Syndrome?

Dame Edna Everage thinks so. In a letter posted on her official website Aug. 18, the star of stage and screen writes, "I am poised on the brink of the most exciting adventure of my life: a new show premiering in San Francisco and shifting to Broadway in November. They have been without me on the Great White Way for over four years now and they're suffering from a severe case of EDS (Edna Depravation Syndrome).

"Broadway has not echoed with real laughter since I closed my sell-out show and hurried to my late husband's bedside. He wasn't in bed at the time, since he passed away over ten years ago, but a lot of Japanese tourists were milling about in what was once our bedroom in the now world famous Dame Edna museum located in our old home in the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds. I didn't want too many curious tourists plucking at the pink chenille bedspread or fingering the pillow into which I sobbed long ago when I learnt of my husband's complex urological condition. It's funny to think that I left my New York possums wanting more in order to supervise a little laser 'fence' built around my marital bed, but I am a sentimental woman."

Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance begins previews Nov. 5 at the Music Box Theatre with an official opening scheduled for Nov. 21. The limited engagement will run through March 13, 2005. A pre-Broadway run at San Francisco's Curran Theatre is set for Aug. 31 Oct. 10.

The Dame's newest offering will boast an "all-new theatrical infrastructure." According to production designer Brian Thomson, "Edna will glow from the stage in a series of never-before-seen gowns. She will sing, dance, give psychic readings to astonished audience members, offer marriage counseling and perhaps even heal."

As for her own thoughts, the much beloved Dame puts things this way: "I don't do shows, I make history. In a spooky way, I am theatre in the making. My shows are not shows at all, they are 'events.'" The Dame will be joined onstage by The Gorgeous Ednaettes, The Equally Gorgeous TestEdnarones and Master of the Dame's Musick, Wayne Barker. Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance will play Tuesdays at 7 PM, Wednesday-Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 and 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM.

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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.