Introduction: Throughout the course of 2006, I've had many incredible opportunities to see some of the best actors, singers and dancers of our time perform live on the stage. Rather than recap the best shows of the year (which I'll do at the close of the 2006-07 Theatrical Season), I'm devoting the last six days of the calendar year to those live performances that have stayed with me throughout the year.
If the last week has seemed a bit like a lovefest for the genius of Barry Humphries, it's because I revere his breathtakingly quick wit. But it's also because I was in a very privileged audience for his latest show, which is currently running in his own hometown of Melbourne. There, he is demonstrating a range of characters unlike anything previously presented on American soil.
As I noted in my review of his latest show:
Barry Humphries...seems to be calling the shots rather than his "gigastar" housewife. Yes, there's plenty of the biting humor involving the audience, but this production also features the ribald, spitting satire of Humphries' Les Patterson skewering Aussie politicians and the poignant subtlety of the deceased Sandy Stone, whose watchful eye on his wife from above provides an insight into today's Australian psyche one never quite learns from the Great Dame.
But then there's Dame Edna herself, in all of her glory....Despite the nearly three hours running time, this was one show that I didn't want to end thanks to the ingenious wit and wisdom from one of Austalia's true treasures, Barry Humphries. And fortunately, Humphries himself takes the final curtain call bow.
Here's toasting you, Barry Humphries, along with each of your glorious creations!
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
Melbourne's Magnificent Maestro: Barry Humphries (December 25, 2006)
This Dame's The Deal Down Under (December 24, 2006)
Barry Humphries & Friends: Back With A Vengeance! (The SOB Review) - Arts Centre, State Theatre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (December 21, 2006)