This Week on Stage: Who's a better drag icon, Dame Edna Everage or Valerie Harper as Tallulah? | EW.com

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This Week on Stage: Who's a better drag icon, Dame Edna Everage or Valerie Harper as Tallulah?

(ALL ABOUT ME: Michael Feinstein and Dame Edna Everage)

Cabaret regular Michael Feinstein and campy Australian songbird Dame Edna Everage (the alter ego of Barry Humphries) join forces for a new Broadway show, All About Me, which opened this week to mostly middling reviews. “Aside from a few bright spots, All About Me is essentially two one-person shows glued together. Mediocrity ensues,” writes EW’s Jessica Shaw in her B- review. Valerie Harper wins praise for her portrayal of the tabloid-friendly mid-20th-century actress Tallulah Bankhead in the Broadway comic drama Looped. “Harper barrels gaily into the role, outfoxing any drag queen who might have coveted the part,” writes Lisa Schwarzbaum, but our critic finds that the problematic play itself focuses too much on peripheral nobodies and only earns a C-. EW’s Melissa Rose Bernardo was also disappointed by Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks’ new drama, The Book of Grace, “a plodding revenge fantasy” at Off Broadway’s Public Theatre that earns a C.

Meanwhile, I checked out the starry new cast of last year’s Tony-winning play, God of Carnage. I found the one-act comedy be “just as tart and hilarious” as it was a year ago. Jeff Daniels, who now plays the average-Joe role originated by James Gandolfini, may be a less-perfect fit, but Dylan Baker (who takes Daniels’ original role as a cell-phone-addicted yuppie) and Janet McTeer (who takes Marcia Gay Harden’s part) are standouts. And Broadway newbie Lucy Liu is “surprisingly nimble” on stage.

If you’re looking for some live theater, check out the EW.com Stage hub for up-to-date news and reviews; or consult this handy guide below, which includes links to all of our stage reviews of current shows. (Note: The reviews are typically of the show’s original casts.)

BROADWAY

The Addams Family – Musical; opens 4/8/2010

All About Me —– Musical Revue starring Dame Edna Everage and Michael Feinstein; opened 3/18/10; EW grade: B-

American Idiot – Musical; opens 4/20/2010

A Behanding in Spokane – Comedy starring Christopher Walken; opened 3/4/10; EW grade: B+

Billy Elliot – Musical; opened 11/13/08; EW grade: B+

La Cage Aux Folles – Musical Revival starring Kelsey Grammer; opens 4/18/10

Chicago – Musical Revival; opened 11/14/1996; EW grade: A+

Collected Stories – Drama Revival starring Linda Lavin; opens 4/28/10

Come Fly Away – Musical created, choreographed, and directed by Twyla Tharp; opens 3/25/10

ENRON – Drama starring Norbert Leo Butz; opens 4/27/10

Fela! – Musical; opened 11/23/2009; EW grade: B+

Fences – Drama Revival starring Denzel Washington; opens 4/26/10 - 7/11/10

God of Carnage – Comedy starring Jeff Daniels and Lucy Liu; opened 3/22/2009 (original review ); EW grade: A-

Hair – Musical Revival; opened 3/31/2009; EW grade: A-

In the Heights – Musical starring Corbin Bleu; opened 2/14/2009; EW grade: B+

Jersey Boys – Musical; opened 11/7/2005; EW grade: A

Lend Me a Tenor – Comedy Revival starring Anthony LaPaglia, Tony Shalhoub, and Justin Bartha; opens 4/4/10

The Lion King – Musical; opened 11/13/1997; EW grade: A+

Lips Together, Teeth Apart – Drama Revival starring Megan Mullally and Patton Oswalt; opens 4/29/10 - 6/20/10

A Little Night Music – Musical Revival starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury; opened 12/13/09; EW grade: B+

Looped – Drama starring Valerie Harper as Tallulah Bankhead; opened 3/14/10; EW grade: C-

Love Never Dies – Musical sequel to Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber; opens 11/11/10

Mamma Mia! – Musical; opened 10/18/2001; EW grade: B+

Mary Poppins – Musical; opened 11/16/2009; EW grade: A-

Memphis – Musical; opened 10/19/2009; EW grade: C+

Million Dollar Quartet – Musical; opens 4/11/10

The Miracle Worker – Drama Revival starring Abigail Breslin; opened 3/3/10; EW grade: B-

Next Fall – Drama; opened 3/11/10; EW grade: A-

Next to Normal – Musical; opened 4/19/2009; EW grade: A

The Phantom of the Opera – Musical; opened 1/26/1988

Present Laughter – Comedy Revival starring Victor Garber; opened 1/21/2010 – 3/21/10; EW grade: B-

Promises, Promises – Musical Revival starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth; opens 4/25/10

Race – Drama starring James Spader and Kerry Washington; opened 12/6/2009; EW grade: C

Red – Drama starring Alfred Molina; opens 4/1/10 - 6/13/10

Rock of Ages – Musical; opened 4/7/2009; EW grade: C+

Sondheim on Sondheim – Musical Revue; opens 4/22/10 - 6/13/10

South Pacific – Musical Revival; opened 4/3/2008; EW grade: A

Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark – Musical starring Alan Cumming; opens 2010

Time Stands Still – Drama starring Laura Linney; opened 1/28/2010 – 3/27/10; EW grade: A–

A View From the Bridge Drama Revival starring Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson; opened 1/24/2010 - 4/4/2010; EW grade: B+

West Side Story — Musical Revival; opened 3/19/2009; EW grade: B

Wicked – Musical; opened 10/30/03; EW grade: B

OFF BROADWAY

Ages of the Moon – Drama starring Stephen Rea; opened 1/27/10 – 3/21/10; EW grade: B–

A Lie of the Mind – Drama directed by Ethan Hawke and starring Keith Carradine and Laurie Metcalf; opened 2/18/10 –- 3/20/10; EW grade: A–

Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps – Comedy; reopens 3/25/10; EW grade: B+

Avenue Q – Musical; reopened 10/21/2009; EW grade: A

The Book of Grace Drama; opened 3/17/10 - 4/4/10; EW grade: C

Blue Man Group – Special Performance; opened 11/11/1991

Clybourne Park – Drama; 2/21/10 - 3/21/10; EW grade: A

EquivocationDrama; opens 3/2/10 – 3/28/10; EW grade: C+

The Fantasticks – Musical Revival; opened 6/16/2008; EW grade: B+

A Lie of the MindDrama Revival starring Keith Carradine and Laurie Metcalf; opened 2/18/10 - 3/20/10; EW grade: A-

Love, Loss, and What I Wore – Drama; opened 10/1/2009; EW grade: B+

Mr. & Mrs. Fitch – Comedy starring John Lithgow and Jennifer Ehle; opened 2/22/10 - 3/21/10; EW grade: B+

The Orphans’ Home Cycle, Part I – Drama; opened 11/20/2009 – 5/8/10; EW grade: A-

The Orphan’s Home Cycle, Part II Drama; opened 12/17/09 – 5/8/10; EW grade: B+

The Orphan’s Home Cycle, Part III – Drama; opens 1/26/10 – 5/8/10; EW grade: A

Our Town – Drama Revival; opened 2/26/2009 – 3/14/10; EW grade: A-

The Pride – Drama starring Hugh Dancy and Ben Whishaw; opens 2/16/10 – 3/20/10; EW grade: B

The Scottsboro Boys Musical starring John Cullum; opened 3/10/10 - 4/18/10; EW grade: B

Stomp – Special Performance; opened 2/27/1994

When the Rain Stops Falling – Drama starring Victoria Clark and Mary Beth Hurt; opened 3/8/10; EW grade: B-

ELSEWHERE

The 101 Dalmatians Musical (National tour) – Musical; EW grade: B-

August: Osage County (National tour with Estelle Parsons) – Drama; EW grade: A

Brief Encounter (Minneapolis) – Drama With Music; 2/11/10 - 4/10/10; EW grade: A

Dreamgirls (National tour with Syesha Mercado) – Musical; EW grade: B+

(Las Vegas) – Special Performance; opened November 2004; EW grade: A-

LOVE (Las Vegas) – Musical Revue; opened 8/24/2006; EW grade: A-

Love Never Dies (London) – Musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber; opened 3/9/10; EW grade: C

Mary Poppins (National tour) – Musical; EW grade: B

Mystere (Las Vegas) – Special Performance; opened 5/25/1993; EW grade: A

O (Las Vegas) – Special Performance; opened October 1998; EW grade: A-

The Subject Was Roses Drama revival starring Martin Sheen; opened 2/21/10 - 3/21/10; EW grade: B

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (National tour) — Drama with Music; opened 1/6/10; EW grade: B-

Zumanity (Las Vegas) – Special Performance; opened September 2003; EW grade: C

More Stage coverage from EW.com:
Glee: Licensing for stage productions?
‘Top Chef’ live tour announces dates
Lady Gaga announces 31-date North American arena tour
‘Hair’ and ‘A Boy and His Soul’ among GLAAD Media Award winners

Image credit: Joan Marcus