Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern

Dame Edna: My First Last Tour

Also see John's review of Titanic - The Musical

Dame Edna
RRA Broadway Across America Ft. Lauderdale and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts present Dame Edna in My First Last Tour. That widely loved gigastar, homemaker, talk show host, fashion diva and close friend to the royal, the rich and the famous, known as Dame Edna, graces the stage of the Parker Playhouse in what she calls the first of her last tours.

In My First Last Tour, Dame Edna treats her audience to a show subtitled "A meditation on gender and post-election trauma." The show is devised and crafted by Barry Humphries, the accomplished actor portraying the great Dame Edna. The show is also graced with Erin-Kate Whitcomb as Dame Edna's troubled daughter Valmai. The talented on-stage accompanist is Andrew Ross, who is credited with providing some of Dame Edna's additional material. The production is a hybrid of a stand-up comic act and a talk show done in Dame Edna's signature style.

Dame Edna is no stranger to the stage. Her Broadway show The Royal Tour won a special Tony Award in 2000, and her Back With a Vengeance won a Tony in 2005. Dame Edna's television credits include the TV special "A Night on Mt. Edna," and two talk show series entitled "The Dame Edna Experience."  She is also an author whose books include Dame Edna's Coffee Table Book, Dame Edna's Bedside Companion and My Gorgeous Life, which is currently being adapting for the stage and screen.

Imagine a fussy, middle aged, terribly well-dressed and slightly nosy Australian woman, with the comic timing of Joan Rivers at her best, and you have an idea of what to expect of Dame Edna. She tells stories and gently pokes fun at people in the audience. Audience members are brought up on stage in an impromptu talk show for further homage and humiliation from the sharp wit of Dame Edna. There are mentions of pop icons such as Brittany Spears, and of course ex-President George Bush, but most of the show is based on personalized, comedic interaction with the audience. There must be a pianist to help with the songs of course, and her daughter Valmai to provide cover for a costume change. But what can be said of two hours of shear fun except "Don't Miss It"?

Dame Edna Everage's biography states that she is a possibly Jewish widow, with three grown children. She spends her time visiting world leaders and jet-setting between her homes in Los Angeles, London, Sydney, Switzerland and Martha's Vineyard. She is the Founder and Governor of Friends of the Prostate and the creator of The World Prostate Olympics.

Dr. John Barry Humphries, AO, CBE is an Australian comedian, satirist and character actor. He is best known for his alter-egos Dame Edna Everage, and Sir Les Patterson, Australia's foul-mouthed cultural attaché to Britain. He is also a film producer and script writer, a star of London's West End musical theatre, an award-winning writer and an accomplished landscape painter.

This production of Dame Edna: My First Last Tour is scheduled to appear March 10th - 28th, 2009 at The Parker Playhouse. The Parker Playhouse is located at 707 NE 8th St. in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For information on The Parker Playhouse you may contact them at 954-763-2444 or online at For information on the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, you may contact them by phone at 954-462-0222 or online at  

RRA Broadway Across America - Ft. Lauderdale is presented in arrangement with the Florida Theatrical Association, which is a non-profit, civic organization with a volunteer board of trustees established to ensure the continued presentation of quality national touring Broadway productions in the state of Florida. Broadway Across America is dedicated to creating memorable and accessible theatrical experiences for all guests, selling over five million tickets to first rate Broadway shows, family productions and other live theatrical events in over 40 North American cities each year. For more information or to purchase tickets through an authorized agent, go to, or    

Dame Edna: Barry Humphries
Valmai: Erin-Kate Whitcomb  

Pianist: Andrew Ross
Lighting Design: Thomas hague
Costume Design: John Van Gastel and Stephen Adnitt
Sound Design: Elton P. Halley
Hair Stylist: Marcus Fokken
Stage Manager: James W. Gibbs

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere

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