Good morning, Possums! Dame Edna (aka Australian comedian Barry Humphries) is on the shortlist for actors (who double as actresses) to play Edna Turnblad for the London 2003 premiere of Hairspray, Michael Reidel reported in the New York Post Nov. 15. No official casting or dates have been announced for the British production.
Edna would seem a obvious choice. A drag institution created by Humphries nearly fifty years ago, Dame Edna appeared on Broadway in 2000 in her own show at the Booth Theatre. She is currently traveling the U.S. in A Night With Dame Edna: The Family Show, now in St. Louis and expected in Washington, DC and Philadelphia in January and February.
Humphries has a musical theatre background, with a featured role (Mr. "That's Your Funeral" Sowerberry, understudying Fagin) in both the original London and original Broadway companies of Oliver!. Since then, he has recorded many spoken word and vocal albums, including some performed and sung in the personage of Dame Edna ("Edna's Show Songs," "Peter and the Wolf" and "Color Me Edna").