By Adam Hetrick
12 Nov 2009
Feinstein revealed the news during his Nov. 12 "Today Show" appearance, where he performed with Broadway leading man Cheyenne Jackson to promote the release of their album "The Power of Two."
Following the "Today" revelation, producers of All About Me released an official announcement that Tony-winning director Jerry Zaks, who was to helm Dame Edna's It's All About Me, will stage the Feinstein/Dame Edna combined evening that will be penned by Christopher Durang. All About Me will begin previews March 6, 2010, and officially open March 23, 2010, at a Shubert Theatre to be announced. Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Robert G. Bartner and the Ambassador Theater Group produce.
After Feinstein and Dame Edna publicly released snarky words about their similarly-titled shows, insiders began speculating that it was all a publicity stunt, and that Feinstein's show (All About Me) and Dame Edna's show (It's All About Me) were one and the same. The New York Post previously reported the joint evening in July, though Feinstein and Dame Edna (Barry Humphries) both denied the reports and engaged in a PR battle of the wits.
Everage followed with: "Because the essence of my show’s title was always All About Me, I'm more than delighted having the 'It's' go the way of the Dodo. Michael Feinstein is a performer of the highest caliber, I believe, and I couldn't be more than excited to be sharing a Broadway stage with him, in moderation. And with nice Christopher Durang at our side, who knows what saucy little moments we can come up with!"
Dubbed Australia's First Lady, Dame Edna is the invention of Barry Humphries, a successful character actor in Europe and Australia; he's also 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. In 2004-05, her Back With a Vengeance played Broadway and earned a Tony nomination for Special Theatrical Event.
Feinstein last appeared on Broadway in Michael Feinstein in Concert: Piano and Voice at the Lyceum Theatre in 1990. His prior Broadway solo evenings include Michael Feinstein in Concert: Isn't It Romantic at the Booth in 1988, and Michael Feinstein in Concert, also at the Lyceum in 1988.
A five-time Grammy nominee, Michael Feinstein is often credited with reinvigorating interest in the American popular song. The crooner has performed in concert halls around the world and on Broadway and now co-owns his own nightclub, Feinstein's at Loews Regency. His numerous solo recordings include "The Sinatra Project," "Michael and George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin," "Big City Rhythms" "Romance On Film, Romance On Broadway," "Michael Feinstein with The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra," "Only One Life: The Songs of Jimmy Webb" and "Hopeless Romantics." Feinstein most recently released a duets album with Broadway's Cheyenne Jackson, entitled "The Power of Two," based on their sold-out show at Feinstein's at the Regency last earlier this year.
Zaks earned Tonys for directing The House of Blue Leaves, Lend Me a Tenor, Six Degrees of Separation and Guys and Dolls. He also staged the current tour The 101 Dalmatians Musical.
Durang's works for the stage include Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, Adrift in Macao, Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge, A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), The Actor’s Nightmare, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy, Baby with the Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award), Laughing Wild, Durang/Durang, Sex and Longing and Betty's Summer Vacation.