Possums, it's time.
From Upper East Siders in the orchestra to "bridge and tunnel paupers" in the mezzanine, New York audiences will get their first taste of Dame Edna Everage, Oct. 17, as her first Broadway show officially opens at the Booth Theatre. Dame Edna: The Royal Tour, featuring the comic creation of Australian comedian and British sensation Barry Humphries, began previews Sept. 14 for a run that, like so much else about Edna, is wide open.
The show is presented by Leonard Soloway, Chase Mishkin, Steven M. Levy and Jonathan Reinis. Designing the show are Kenneth Foy (set), Stephen Adnitt (costumes), Jason Kantrowitz (lighting) and Peter Fitzgerald (sound).
Accompanied now and then by on-stage pianist Andrew Ross and two leggy "Edanettes" (Roxane Barlow and Tamlyn Brooke Shusterman), the silver haired, bespectacled Edna entertains American 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."
As the show's press release (courtesy of production spokesperson Kevin McAnarney) puts it: "Blessed at birth with natural wisteria hair, Dame Edna is a housewife, megastar, social anthropologist, investigative journalist, chanteuse, swami, adviser to British royalty, grief counselor, spin doctor, children's book illustrator and icon." 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.
-- By David Lefkowitz