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"All About Me", Starring Dame Edna and Michael Feinstein, at Henry Miller’s Theatre
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"All About Me", Starring Dame Edna and Michael Feinstein, at Henry Miller’s Theatre

- Backstage with the Playwrights

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All About Me
A Showbiz Entertainment
(All About Me Website)

Starring:
Dame Edna
(Dame Edna Website)
Michael Feinstein
(Michael Feinstein Website)

With: Gregory Butler, Jodi Capeless, Jon-Paul Mateo

Written by:
Michael Feinstein, Barry Humphries, Christopher Durang

Conceived by:
Barry Humphries, Michael Feinstein,
Lizzie Spender, Terrence Flannery

Directed by Casey Nicholaw

At
Henry Miller’s Theatre
124 West 43rd Street
NY, NY
212.239.6200

Scenic & Costume Design: Anna Louizos
Lighting Design: Howell Binkley
Sound Design: Peter Fitzgerald
Dame Edna’s Gowns: Stephen Adnitt
Video Design: Chris Cronin
Musical Supervisor & Conductor: Rob Bowman
Music Coordinator: Michael Keller
Production Stage Manager: James W. Gibbs
Casting: Telsey + Co.
Technical Supervision:
Hudson Theatrical Associates/Neil Mazzella
General Management: Stuart Thompson Productions
Assoc. Producers:
Jeremy Scott Blaustein/Rae Rothfield
Press: Jeffrey Richards Assoc.,
Irene Gandy/Alana Karpoff
Orchestrations: John Oddo
Additional Arrangements; Glen Kelly

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 3, 2010


What could be sadder than being royally entertained at a Saturday matinee, than knowing the show closes Sunday. But, the premature shutting down of this madcap glitz didn’t restrain the over the top quips and musicality of Michael Feinstein and Dame Edna (the man in heels, Barry Humphries). On arriving at the theatre, the audience was immediately confused, as half the programs featured Michael Feinstein on the cover, and half featured Dame Edna, on a "deus ex machina”-like, roped scaffold. In fact, the symbolism of that “God from a machine” device was cleverly conceived. Dame Edna arrives just when Mr. Feinstein needs a surge of wild, sharp humor. One character is like champagne, and one like scotch.

This was my first experience with Dame Edna, and I was quite glad to be NOT in the front row. She takes no prisoners and returns incessantly to humorously taunt unsuspecting tourists, who gladly get more than they paid for. When Michael Feinstein sings the Great American Songbook, the audience leans forward in rapture. When Dame Edna sings Sondheim’s “Ladies Who Lunch”, the crowd roars. The duality of performances, with Mr. Feinstein at the grand piano, crooning Gershwin and Porter, adding chatty retro anecdotes, juxtaposed with Dame Edna’s “The Dingo Ate My Baby”, kept the performance eclectic, energized, engaging, and sometimes explosive. Rob Bowman, on piano, led a twelve-piece band, that was versatile and vibrant, especially in their Overture, connecting brief phrases of Broadway tunes, seamlessly and surprisingly. The band exuded a bit of personality on its own, playing along with the theme of Star competition, of whose show this really is, of Dame Edna almost being thrown off the set, of faux fighting between the two divas.

Jodi Capeless, the onstage Stage Manager, wired up and wound up, adds zings to the zest. Gregory Butler and Jon-Paul Mateo, two hunks with biceps, who can dance up a storm, join in on the fun with understated camp. Anna Louizos’ sets and costumes sparkled with stunning pizzazz, and Dame Edna’s longtime gown-maker, Stephen Adnitt, should mount a costume show of his own. Howell Binkley’s lighting and Peter Fitzgerald’s sound were clear, warm, and resonant. I wish this show could return, cabaret style, and how about at Feinstein’s at the Regency? Now that’s something that can’t close.



Dame Edna and Michael Feinstein
in "All About Me"
Courtesy of Joan Marcus





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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net