Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

A Night With Dame Edna

Also see Tracy's reviews of Gershwin Alone and 110 in the Shade

She is a self-described "housewife, investigative journalist, social anthropologist, talk show host, swami, children's book illustrator, megastar, spin doctor and icon." With her busy social and professional schedule, one would think that Dame Edna could never launch another theatrical tour. Never fear, possums! Dame Edna is back on the road and this time she is visiting the nation's capital.

Now appearing in A Night With Dame Edna at the National Theatre, the international superstar is shaking up D.C. Although her Washington press conference had a meager turnout, she acted like the diva she is. Sporting a Chanel suit and her trademark rhinestone glasses, she fielded questions from the Washington press. When asked to dispute the nasty rumor that her manager, Barry Humphries and she are one in the same, she summed up her feelings on the matter by replying, "...ask my gynecologist."

The Dame is just as bold on stage. Many who caught her Broadway show, Dame Edna: The Royal Tour, will find many similarities. However, the material is just as funny the second time around. Dame Edna has her best moments when she is interacting with the audience. She sings, tells stories and zings audience members with insults that would put even Don Rickles to shame. But it's all in good fun and the audience is in on the joke.

Dame Edna is accompanied by pianist Wayne Barker and the Gorgeous Ednaettes: Teri DiGianfelice and Michelle Pampena. The latter two join Dame Edna in a number of song-and-dance routines. All three hold their own on stage but it is especially fun to watch when they can't contain their own laughter.

Dame Edna has stated in the press many times that her frocks are designed by her son Kenny. However, Stephen Adnitt is credited for creating the over-the-top wardrobe. The show itself was devised and written by Barry Humphries, who is known not only for being Dame Edna's alter-ego, but also for a substantial stage career in Australia and the U.K.

In the midst of this bitterly cold winter, it is nice to know there is somewhere in D.C. where one can go to experience the warmth of a hearty laugh. So, grab your gladiolas, possums, and head down to the National Theatre for A Night With Dame Edna. As Dame Edna herself states, it is "the show that cares."

The National Theatre
A Night With Dame Edna
January 21st - February 2nd
Devised and Written by Barry Humphries
Additional Material by Ian Davidson
Songs, Music & Lyrics by Barry Humphries
Musical Arrangements by Andrew Ross
1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Ticket Information: 1-800-722-4990 or

-- Tracy Lyon

Also see the Current Theatre Season Calendar for D.C.

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