Dame Edna Everage and Michael Feinstein make a fine couple, if you enjoy a visual oxymoron: the former is the alter ego of the Australian Barry Humphries, known for his large out-sized glamour. The latter is the charming song man of The Regency, diminutive, understated, elegant. Each a consummate performer, together they make for an entertaining evening combining highlights of the American songbook with Dame Edna's signature comedy, and somehow, by the end you find yourself happily in a sing along waving priapic gladioli and intoning, "Thrust, thrust, thrust."
How did you get here? The show is based on the conceit that each has booked this space, and now, egos flair, the two vie for dominance. The brainchild of the stars plus playwright Christopher Durang and Lizzie Spender, the daughter of Stephen Spender and Barry Humphries' wife, All About Me, utilizes these talents for what amounts to a glorified high school sing, and yet is deliciously engaging and hilarious.
Dame Edna's wardrobe is a study in what to wear if you are insecure enough to have to prod the audience, 'Do you miss me?' She needn't worry. A man in the front row had on identical glasses with rhinestoned wings. Feathers and bling, one creation is more monumentally bedazzling than the last, as the lilac haired comic shows off her gams in red high heels. Backing her up are two buff bouncers who double in dance (Gregory Butler and Jon-Paul Mateo). Even the stage manager (Jodi Capeless) gets into the act. Exclaiming this a Sondheim-free zone, just as it's been announced, the Henry Miller Theater will be named for this Broadway great, Dame Edna does a fine "Here's to the Ladies Who Lunch."
Michael Feinstein pays homage to comedian Paul Lind's turn on Hollywood Squares, recalled a seminal moment when the host posed this question, "Men reach their sexual peek as teens. At what age for women?" Lind replied, "Who cares?" You get that he's gay. But prepare yourself for this image, when Dame Edna offers to straddle his instrument.
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