Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dame Edna plans to retire after next show


ArtsBeat reports: Take a long last look at Dame Edna Everage and say goodbye, possums: at the end of a coming stage tour she will take off her garish glasses and wisteria-colored wig and return to being Barry Humphries, the actor and comedian who has portrayed the outspoken, outrageous character in various incarnations for more than half a century.

The Associated Press reported that a live Dame Edna tour called Eat Pray Laugh!, which will be presented in Australia and which Mr. Humphries, 78, hopes to bring to the United States and Britain, will be the character’s sendoff.

“She’s a little weary of touring and strange hotels,” Mr. Humphries said of Dame Edna in an interview with ABC radio in Australia.

Before she was elevated to the rank of Dame, Mr. Humphries’s character began in 1950s stage and club performances as Mrs. Norm Everage. The character returned as Aunt Edna in the 1972 comedy The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, written by Mr. Humphries and Bruce Beresford and a 1974 sequel Barry McKenzie Holds His Own.

Her résumé grew to include television talk shows; appearances on Ally McBeal and in a 2002 film version of Nicholas Nickleby; a Tony Award-winning stage show, The Royal Tour, in 1999; as well as a 2004 followup, Back With a Vengeance, and a short-lived 2010 production, “All About Me,” which paired Dame Edna with Michael Feinstein.

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