William Stevenson
November 05, 1999 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dame Edna: the Royal Tour

Current Status
In Season
Barry Humphries

We gave it an A-

You may be hard-pressed to explain to friends exactly why the Broadway debut of Dame Edna — the Australian megastar housewife whom Barry Humphries has played for 43 years — is so uproariously funny. Is it her garish mauve outfit, her semi-improvised banter with audience members, her tales of late husband Norm’s prostate murmur (”The neighbors would complain”), or her delightfully inane songs? Whatever it is, you may well bust a gut laughing, especially during her biting remarks about handling the elderly. Edna’s mockery of celebrity, middle-class pretensions, political correctness, and especially the audience (”This woman has saved a fortune on clothes”) will make almost anyone a gladiola-waving fan. A-

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