Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dame Edna Does LA Pt. 3

Welcome back, Possums! It's positively spooky how I have managed to stretch one GLORIOUS evening into three posts. For the handful that have never seen or heard of Dame Edna, please go over to Youtube and rectify the situation. Then come back here.

This was the third time I had seen Dame Edna in person; once on Broadway in 2005, followed by San Diego in 2009, and most recently at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Played by the 81-year old Barry Humphries, Dame Edna is still making audiences roar with her impeccable comic timing and rubbery face. Even though there is much that has been recycled in this particular outing, I would rather hear Dame Edna re-tell the same joke repeatedly than hear a fresh one from some of today's comics who think that shouting and using profanity is what brings a laugh.

The format of "Glorious Goodbye" is very much the same as the other two shows I attended; a few funny videos, picking on audience members, and the obligatory throwaway song and dance numbers. Why mess with success?

The audience interaction is what I love most about a Dame Edna show. I can now vouch that none of them are plants, as she singled out three from my party during the evening. Dame Edna loves to talk about the poor bastards who have to sit in the balcony, kindly referring to them as "Les Miserables." She also took the time to explain why there were empty seats sprinkled throughout the massive theater: "These are seats owned by people we call Subscribers." These wealthy patrons purchase a series and then go onto the great beyond, leaving behind these "beige plush tombstones." Edna typically singles out a living Subscriber and dubs them "Senior," referring to them throughout the show and stirring them out of a coma with a flash of her saturated bedazzled dress.

One attendee made the mistake of getting caught reading her program by Dame Edna in the middle of the show. She quipped about how this literary ticket-holder was pondering what to do this particular evening: "Today I feel like a good old read. I know, I'll go to the Ahmanson and sit in the third row of Dame Edna's show!"

Fashion is a standard topic for Dame Edna, as she usually assails the audience members for not dressing up for the show. “I see you dressed for a special occasion…like washing your car.” When she found out one of the people in our party was retired, Dame Edna asked her if she had any regrets in life…"besides your hair dresser?"

Humphries may recycle a few gags, but he also stays topical. Dame Edna defends her habit of picking on the audience with her criticisms, stating that they secretly crave it, like the apostles and Jesus. How could the Apostles complain, reasons Edna? "They ended up with four best sellers. The Gospels were "the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' of their day."

Edna tells the audience about her recent trip to an Indian ashram. “A trailer park for the soul,” she calls it. “The Dalai Lama checked in as Leonard Cohen, and Oprah checked in as the Dalai Lama." Talking about having a kale smoothie at the bar, she recalls how Bill Cosby sat next to her and "offered to freshen up my drink.”

Real Estate is another standard topic for a Dame Edna show, asking audience members about the homes they live in. When one audience member said the color of her house was taupe, Dame Edna screwed her face up and minced, "Oh taupe…I had almost forgotten about that color! I am sure it will come back into fashion at some point!"

One of Edna's final jokes came about at the end of the show when she was throwing out her gladiolas. She asked one African-American gentleman to wave his gladiola to her; his had broken off and was quite short, yet he did his best to "wave" it to Edna. "Well, we just disproved another long-standing myth!"

Here's a shot I was able to take at her San Diego show back in June 2009 showing the glads being given out:

If our Glorious Gal of the Gladiolas came back to the States for another tour, do you think I would attend? You betcha'!

Want more of the Daveland Experience? Check out my main website and lose yourself on this GLORIOUS Sunday!.

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1 comment:

K. Martinez said...

Awesome post. Sounds like you had a great time. That you've seen her three times in person is amazing. I've only watched her on TV (I think PBS). Great post. Thanks Dave.