Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free HD Opera May 1-3 from New York's Metropolitan Opera

Wagner is well represented with Das Rheingold in all its splendor.

The Metropolitan Opera will offer a free weekend of unlimited access to Met Player, the subscription service that makes much of the company’s extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public online, in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. The free preview begins at 5pm ET on Friday, May 1, and runs through midnight on Sunday, May 3.

During this time, users logging into Met Player will have access to the entire collection of more than 200 audio and video performances, including 20 of the company’s acclaimed HD productions from the first three seasons of The Met: Live in HD series. HD titles recently added to the Met Player catalog include this season’s transmissions of Massenet’s Thaïs starring Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson, Puccini’s La Rondine featuring Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor with Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala. Met Player also features the wide range of Music Director James Levine’s work, from Mozart’s comic masterpiece Cosi fan Tutte to Wagner’s epic Ring cycle.

Recent upgrades to Met Player include the addition of multi-language subtitles (French, German, and Spanish) to the current season’s HD titles; English subtitles are available for all videos (but can be turned off if preferred).

The 1977 production of La Boheme featured Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Scotto in a classic pairing.

Met Player offers a wealth of video performances to choose from, including Puccini’s La Bohème with Renata Scotto and Luciano Pavarotti (1977), Plácido Domingo in Verdi’s Otello (1995), and Verdi’s La Forza del Destino with Leontyne Price (1984), as well as the recent HD live shows from the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, including Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez in Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment. Some of the initial offerings have never been seen since their original television broadcasts: Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci with Tatiana Troyanos, Teresa Stratas, and Domingo (1978); Price’s legendary farewell performance in Verdi’s Aida (1985); and Tschaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades with Galina Gorchakova and Domingo (1999).

The legendary audio performances include Bizet’s Carmen starring Rosa Ponselle (1937), as well as other Met radio performances from such celebrated artists as Carlo Bergonzi, Jussi Bjoerling, Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, Mario del Monaco, Lauritz Melchior, Zinka Milanov, Birgit Nilsson, Joan Sutherland, Renata Tebaldi, and Richard Tucker.

There is one string involved. In order to register for the free weekend of Met Player, users must have an active username and password for the Met website. New users can easily set this up by visiting the “Register” page at metopera.org and providing basic contact information. No credit card will be required. Additional information will be available on the Met website during this free period to assist customers.

Renée Fleming is a voice to savor in Massanet's Thaïs.

About Met Player

The Met is the first performing arts organization in the world to present such a wide variety of performances in such high quality resolution, available whenever its users wish to see or hear them. The Met developed the new service over the past year, working with a consortium of new technology companies –Move Networks, mPoint, PermissionTV, and POP – adapting recently developed technologies to ensure superior picture and sound quality for the Met’s long-form programming.

For an optimal viewing experience, a multi-core processor, with at least 1GB of memory and 32MB of video RAM, is recommended.

You may also want to visit metplayer.org ahead of the free weekend and watch one of the preview clips (available at all times), to ensure your computer and internet connection are sufficient to enjoy this service.

Utilizing the technology of Met Player - Technical Information here - users have the option of hooking up their computers to new HD TV sets and home-stereo sound systems, delivering the Met’s catalog in high quality. The cleanly-designed, simple, easy-to-navigate interface on the Met’s website will allow users to find their favorite performances quickly.

And after the free weekend?

Subscription fees are priced at $14.99 per month or $149.99 for a yearly plan. As a special benefit for Met members who contribute at the $125 level or above, a six-month introductory package is available for $49.99. Individual purchases will cost $4.99 for HD videos and $3.99 for an audio performance or non-HD video; these individual purchases may be played in a six-hour period within 30 days. Met Player will provide a free downloadable audio and video website player with any rental or subscription order. A one week free trial subscription will be available to anyone after registration.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Bach Project: Bluegrass Edition with Chris Thile

Chris Thile (L) and Joshua Bell (R) are featured in The Bach Project Film.

Chris Thile is a master of the mandolin, and a multi-talented musician. He has transcribed Bach to the mandolin and it is sensational. For someone who loves both bluegrass and Bach, his blending of two styles is jaw dropping. Then, as if this were not enough, Joshua Bell takes us even deeper, to the emotional components of Bach. He is one of the America's finest violinists, and here we find insights into the composer's work that are very revealing.

Chris Thiel on Bach

The video above is a brief excerpt from The Bach Project, now in post production and slated for release on DVD this summer by ML films.

When Baltimore filmmaker Michael Lawrence set out to film various musicians playing and discussing Bach, he had no idea how much cooperation he'd get. As it turns out, a stunning assortment of players have been filmed for Lawrence's upcoming Bach Project including violinists Hilary Hahn and Joshua Bell, singer Bobby McFerrin, the Emerson String Quartet, banjoist Bela Fleck, and mandolin player Chris Thile. Their involvement virtually guarantees a revealing examination of Bach's music.

The variety of short excerpts released by ML Films and available legally on You Tube is truly mouth watering. Here is another with Joshua Bell.

Joshua Bell on Bach

The Miraculous Mandolin is a much under-appreciated instrument.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chicago Still Going Strong on Broadway - $50 Tickets!


A true New York City institution, Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping-song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you've ever seen. It remains one of Broadway's perennial winners. It is now the seventh longest running show in Broadway history.

Our $50 ticket deal is good through June 28. There are two new cast members coming aboad during that period. Sofia Vergara, one of the hottest Hispanic TV stars, will make her Broadway stage debut as Matron "Mama" Morton, the reigning cellblock diva, from April 27-May 24 and June 1-7. And after that, three-time Emmy Award nominee and "Grey's Anatomy" star Chandra Wilson steps into the celebrated role from June 8-July 5.

So here's the deal. Either call 1-212-947-8844 and use code CHWBS44 or go to www.BroadwayOffers.com and use code CHWBS44. This offer does not include Saturday nights, and is subject to prior sale, blackout dates and service fees. Valid for performances through June 28, 2009.

Chicago is playing at the Ambassador Theatre box office at 49th St. and Broadway in New York City.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shakespeare's 445th Birthday to be Celebrated April 23rd

Birthday Bashes for the Bard. (Birthday photo by Larry Murray)

Just a week to go before William Shakespeare is turning the big 445, and theatre companies around the world mark the date with parties and celebrations for the best known writer in the English world. We wrote earlier about the bash at Berkshire Theatre Festival but of course, Shakespeare & Company is also throwing a birthday bash worthy of the occasion. Their Will 445 Bash will rock the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, along with its lobby and terrace, on April 23 from 7pm to midnight.

Their invitation warns us:

This being Shakespeare & Company, a swordfight is not out of the question. Guests must leave daggers, poisons and treachery at the door. (Mild knavery is permitted.)

Popular favorites Berkshire Bateria will provide the soundtrack for much dancing and merriment. There will be delicious food and birthday cake for all, plus a cash bar. Music is also provided by cast members of last year’s lively production of All’s Well That Ends Well, and partygoers are welcome to bring their own instruments for an end-of-night jam. Lots of surprises await, including tastes of Shakespeare and an advance preview of some of the exciting new plays coming in the 2009-2010 season.

A roster of tremendous raffle prizes includes tickets to see U2 perform at Giants Stadium followed by a stay at the Four Seasons in New York City, two days of rest and regeneration at Kripalu, an in-Berkshire getaway including tickets to Shakespeare & Company’s fall production of Hound of the Baskervilles or winter production of Les Liasons Dangereuses.

Tickets are $20 ($12 for 18 and under) and available at the door or in advance by contacting the Box Office at (413) 637-3353, boxoffice@shakespeare.org, or www.shakespeare.org.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Berkshire Theatre Festival Honors Richie DuPont

Poster for the Richie DuPont Event May 9.

Berkshire Theatre Festival audiences and staff still remember Richie Dupont, a young actor who was killed in a house fire at age 24. The young actor was at the beginning of his career. At the BTF he played one of the horses in Equus with Randy Harrison who played Alan Strang in that play, his first BTF appearance. We will never know what his full potential might have been. Ritchie worked as a double on the films "Herbie Fully Loaded" and "National Lampoon’s Lost Reality II."

Each year, a special event is held in his memory to enable other promising actors a chance to learn the business of stagecraft.

Richie in Equus: (front row) Tara Franklin, Randy Harrison and Richie DuPont; back row Joe Jung and Ryan O'Shaughnessy in Berkshire Theatre Festival's Main Stage production of Equus. Photo by Kevin Sprague.

To that end, BTF PLAYS!, the year-round educational program for Berkshire Theatre Festival, will be hosting the 4th annual Richie DuPont Award Benefit on May 9th at 8 p.m. at Firefly in Lenox, MA. The benefit will feature live entertainment by Berkshire favorites, the Tony Lee Thomas Band, light hors d’ouevres, door prizes and a silent auction. All proceeds will benefit the Richie duPont Award, which provides tuition assistance for children to attend BTF PLAYS! summer acting camps on the BTF campus.

This year’s silent auction features a “A Night at the Theatre” package including overnight accommodations for two and a complimentary breakfast at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA along with tickets to a BTF Main Stage Production; tickets to see The Roundabout Theatre Company’s current production of Waiting for Godot on Broadway, starring Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin; gift certificates to IS183, Plaine’s BikeSkiSnowboard, Route 7 Grill, and Berkshire Bike and Blade; Kayak rental from the Arcadian Shop; and many, many more items donated by local businesses. The event is sponsored this year by Maureen Stanton, Laura Shack of Firefly, and Your Color Connection.

Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door the night of the event. For advance tickets or more information on the event, please contact BTF at (413) 298-5536 ext. 13.

Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons in Impressionism - Ticket DIscounts

Joan Allen (l) and Jeremy Irons in Impressionism. Photos by Joan Marcus.

If you have been debating whether to see Impressionism or not, here's a discount ticket offer to make it easy on the wallet.

Tony Award winners Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons star in the world premiere of Michael Jacobs' Impressionism, directed by Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien. Impressionism is the story of a world traveling photojournalist and a New York gallery owner who discover each other and also that there might be an art to repairing broken lives. Here's your chance to see two distinguished lead actors long absent from the New York stage and a plot about mid-life love to speak directly to the prime Broadway play demographic. And there's one more reason, too, in my book, the cast also includes Marsha Mason.

Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons in Impressionism. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Directed by three-time Tony Award(R) winner Jack O'Brien, this is the kind of love story that reminds us all that time heals, laughter helps and young love isn't necessarily the best love of all.

Our ticket discount offer represents about 45% off regular prices. Orchestra and Mezzanine rows A-F are $59.50 Tuesday to Thursday evenings, and $69.50 Fridays to Sundays. There are even less expensive $39.50 seats for all performances in Mezzanine rows G-K.

Jeremy Irons first came to the attention of American audiences when he appeared in the series Brideshead Revisited on PBS.

You can order tickets two ways, via phone at 212-947-8844 using the code IMNYTW401 or go to www.BroadwayOffers.com and enter the same code. Performances take place at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th Street. This offer is valid for performances through May 24th though subject to previous sale, blackout dates, etc.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bluegrass Music with a Terrific Twist

Members of Red Chamber, Mei Han (zheng-zither), Guilian Liu (pipa-lute), Zhimin Yu (ruan-lute) and Geling Jiang (sanxian-three string fretless lute).

Nothing drives tension away and gets me smiling like some good old fashioned Bluegrass, honest and true American art. So when I heard about the Jaybirds teaming up with Red Chamber, a Chinese quartet using instruments from the far east, my curiosity was aroused. You can hear the unusual and thrilling results on the YouTube video below.

The Chinese lluqin, pipa, sanxian and ruan join the Jaybird's mandolin, bass, guitar and banjo to wonderful effect. The players seem to be having a good time too. The octet plays a wonderful version of Katy Hill and it is shows us how two very different worlds can share things - like music - in common. My thanks to the Berkshire's own Nancy Jane Fitzpatrick for tipping me off to this!

John Reischman and the Jaybirds have a a great website and lots of music to sample.

In my visits to China, I became familiar with the traditional plucked instrument repertoire, often performed in old theatres that were more like refrigerators than concert halls. I could only gaze in amazement at how the instrumentalists worked through such conditions, and managed to keep their strings in tune.

Red Chamber has their own glorious website with lots of sampling opportunities, and a CD if you are so inclined to expand your collection of interesting music. As to the YouTube video above, think about this: in China they will never get to hear or see it. YouTube is so open and free, they don't dare allow its content to be accessed in that nation of 1.3 billion people. Imagine, the skittish leadership of China demanded the opening of the historic Forbidden City where the Emperor used to live, but became a Forbidden Nation as far as speech and culture are concerned.

Upcoming Red Chamber tour dates:

April 29, 2009 - 8pm, Library and Archives Canada - Auditorium, Ottawa, presented by National Arts Centre "BC SCENE"

May 1, 2009 - Open Ears Festival, Kitchener, Ontario

May 3, 2009 - 8 pm, Kalamazoo College, Michigan

July, 2009 - Tour to Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and India

Upcoming Jaybirds dates:

Thursday, April 16th
East Hartford, Connecticut
East Hartford Community Cultural Center

Friday, April 17th
Mamaroneck, NY
The Emelin Theatre

Saturday, May 2nd
Ottawa, Ontario
BC Scene
Library and Archives Canada – Auditorium

Sunday, May 3rd,
Montreal, Quebec
Petit Campus (57 Prince-Arthur East)

Thursday, May 7th, Friday, May 8th
Parkfield, CA
Parkfield Bluegrass Festival

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Talent, New Plays: The Guthrie Class of 2009

Two Plays, Two Showcases Not to be Missed
Class photo by George Byron Griffiths

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) A new generation of American actors and playwrights combine their talents, as the Guthrie showcases the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program Class of 2009 in the Dowling Studio, April 17 – 26. General admission tickets, $10 for adults and $7 for students/seniors, are on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE and online at www.guthrietheater.org.

In Peter Gil-Sheridan’s What May Fall, a man’s fatal fall at the IDS Tower forces nine Minnesotans to face the whimsy and terror of living in a world made of ice. Directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde, this Guthrie commission and world premiere production will feature Ali Dachis, Stuart Gates, Joanna Harmon, Michael Mercier, Iman Milner, Skyler Nowinski, Max Polski, Alli Schaffer and Emily Shain.

Vincent Delaney’s Writer 1272, a darkly comic play about college application essays and the prospective students who try to live up to the personas that they create for themselves, will be directed by Benjamin McGovern and feature Allyson Carey, Zach Fineblum, Elizabeth Griffith, Elizabeth Grullon, Joanna Hubbard, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Michael Roush and Cody Sorensen.

In addition to What May Fall and Writer 1272, the Class of 2009 will present two evenings of Snapshots, a series of monologues and short scenes from classic and contemporary literature.

The artistic staff for New Talent, New Plays: The Class of 2009 includes Jeffery Murphey (Set Designer), Cana Potter (Costume Designer), Karin Olson (Lighting Designer), Montana Johnson (Sound Designer), Carla Megan Sandoval (Property Master), Carla Steen and Lauren Ignaut (Dramaturgs, What May Fall), Max Mondi (Dramaturg, Writer 1272), Jenny Moeller (Stage Manager, What May Fall), Caitlin Sheaffer (Stage Manager, Writer 1272) and Adam Ehret (Assistant Stage Manager).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Steppenwolf's Tempest a Creative Triumph

Steppenwolf's Tempest is a feast for all the senses. Photos: Michael Brosilow

Chicago's Steppenwolf and England's Shakespeare, who would have thought it was going to be such a perfect pairing? Never before had the company undertaken the Bard's work, but now they have taken Shakespeare's enchanted masterpiece about the magic of forgiveness and the result is magical. For this effort, Steppenwolf ensemble member Tina Landau re-imagined this classic tale of art, freedom and the transformative power of forgiveness.

Ensemble member Frank Galati returns to the stage as Prospero, his first performance at Steppenwolf since The Drawer Boy with John Mahoney in 2001. Tina Landau has been an ensemble member since 1997 and has staged such inspiring Steppenwolf productions as The Time of Your Life, Cherry Orchard and The Diary of Anne Frank.
The Director and the Cast on the first day of rehearsals.

The Tempest was Shakespeare’s final work. The story is about Prospero who is exiled to an enchanted island where he harnesses the powers of magic and masters the spirits that dwell there. His desire for revenge drives him to conjure a mighty storm trapping his enemies on the island. The production features ensemble members Alana Arenas, K. Todd Freeman, Frank Galati, Jon Michael Hill, Tim Hopper, James Vincent Meredith, Yasen Peyankov, Lois Smith and Alan Wilder with Eric James Casady, Miles Fletcher, Stephen Louis Grush, Emma Rosenthal and Craig Spidle.

In previews since late March, it officially opened this week for a lengthy run through May 31st. Specific performance and ticket information can be found on the Steppenwolf website.
Frank Galati and Jon Michael Hill. Photo Michael Brosilow.

In the photos shown here, it is clear that the set itself is part of the ensemble. In her directives to the scenic designer, Takeshi Kata, Landau set out some guidelines. “The design cannot be too square, too solid, too geometric for this play about sea change, rupture and transformation. The alignment of the space should not be clean. Work against straight lines." The set, she explains, needs to be "immersive," creating an "explosive and disorienting experience." There is no question that she succeeded.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tough Financial Questions for America's Symphony Orchestras

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Almost every one of America's 1200 orchestras has seen the economic collapse of their endowment. Long range planning that took place a decade or two ago was based on the assumption that the stock market and other investment vehicles would continue to grow and throw off healthy dividends. That assumption proved correct for many years, but now lies in a deflated heap of devalued paper.

At the same time competition for the top name conductors, soloists, players and even administrators heated up, fed by the artist management companies, fickle public taste and opportunistic head hunters. Salaries escalated to meet the ability of large endowments to cover the shortfall between ticket sales, contributions and higher expenses. Here's an excerpt from a brilliant column you must read in the Philadelphia Inquirer written by their music critic, Peter Dobrin.
Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, left, poses with Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, center, and Board of Director President Deborah Borda as they announced Salonen's 2009 departure and Dudamel's appointment.

"Is it really a good thing that Deborah Borda, president of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, made well over $1 million for the year that ended in September 2007? Or that a hornist in the New York Philharmonic made $300,000, an oboe player in the Philadelphia Orchestra $249,000?

How about a stagehand at Carnegie Hall who makes $425,911 - plus $107,041 in contributions to benefits plans and deferred compensation?

These are the kind of salaries you'd expect in a sector with more money than it knows what to do with, not one fretting about the future.

One of the most startling costs of running an orchestra is the guest roster, with pianists, violinists, cellists, and others making $30,000 to $70,000 for a single performance. Are they worth it?" - Peter Dobrin

We thank the always helpful Arts Journal for pointing us towards this timely story, filled with the kind of details that make for good reading. So does Peter Dobrin's blog.

We have already begun to see the top salaries for corporation executives, athletes, pop stars, and yes, nonprofit arts organizations begin to crumble. Just how far they will tumble remains to be seen, and we can't help thinking that the arts will take the severest beating.
Empty stages in our future?

The New York City Opera is desperately trying to shape a budget to support another season. They have approached their unions for concessions so that the company may begin performing again, and the unions have rebuffed the overture, saying the management is responsible for the problems and they won't give an inch. With this sort of myopic attitude there may well be no work at all for them. And that would be a tragedy.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


April 18 - June 28, 2009


Theatre fans - gay and straight - are taking vacations, checking Priceline and friends for lodging, and otherwise bending their schedules to take in the most exciting theatre event of 2009.

That's because this spring the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis will present a landmark theater-wide celebration honoring the work of playwright Tony Kushner. Best known for his two-part epic Angels in America, Kushner is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards and an Oscar nomination.

The celebration will feature three productions on three unique stages, including the Tony-nominated musical Caroline, or Change, the world premiere of The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (commissioned by the Guthrie), and an extraordinary line up of five rarely seen works in tiny Kushner: An Evening of Short Plays. In addition, the Theater will offer a series of speakers, scholars and special events designed to fully examine and celebrate Kushner's body of work.

Saturday, April 18 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Don't miss it! Cheap tickets, prizes, free movie and more! Click here for details.


The opportunity to fully immerse yourself in all the Kushner Celebration has to offer comes on Extreme Kushner Weekends – Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24; and Friday, June 5 through Monday, June 8. In addition to seeing all three productions on these weekends, a theatergoer can participate in exciting programming before and after each show to deepen their experience, including Saturday Seminars and speaking engagements by Kevin M. Cathcart and Tony Kushner.

Extreme Kushner Weekends will also include free discussions in the Guthrie’s lobbies, which are open to the public. Talk Abouts are scheduled before and after the productions Friday through Sunday and are led by Guthrie staff, artists and special guests.

For more information on this and all the Guthrie offerings and events, check their website.

The Kushner Concierge
Special services are available to out of town visitors to help arrange everything. Here's how. E-mail KushnerInfo@guthrietheater.org or call 1.877.GU3.TKTS to speak to Bob Neumeier, the Kushner Concierge about tickets, arranging a hotel stay, dining reservations, and more. If calling after regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm CDT), please leave a message and we'll call you back. Or, for tickets call the Guthrie Box Office at 1.877.44.STAGE.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Main Squeeze Accordian Orchestra: Girls Gone Weill

Accordians are wonderful musical instruments. Forget Lawrence Welk. Think of a woman holding one close to her bosom, practically embracing it, and it not only breathes, it makes glorious music that can make people laugh or cry. And it's not easy to play. Remember when you first tried patting your head and rubbing your chest at the same time? Well, try that at 400 notes a minute.
Photo by Ian Meyer

The Main Squeeze Orchestra presents their annual Kurt Weill memorial show Girls Gone Weill at the HighLine Ballroom in New York CIty. The all-female eighteen-piece accordion ensemble has gained a cult following; they'll tackle the works of the great German songwriter. The show is Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm and tickets are $12 in advance, $14 on the day of the show. Tickets are available on their site for this gig, and many others over the coming months, in New York and beyond.

However, if you go to Goldstar Events and sign up, you can get freebies, comps. There is still a $10 minimum per person for drinks.
Photo by Hai Zhang

"The Main Squeeze Orchestra …overflows the scales of feminine virtue in the name of song. More sugar cube than vegan icing, they do cabaret and camp... while dressed, coiffed, and rehearsed like some Central European Berry Gordy fantasy." --The Village Voice

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gigastar Dame Edna to Play Colonial Theatre

"You mean she's coming to Pittsfield?"

"Oh Possums, there's been a terrible mixup..."

Dame Edna Continues Her First Last Tour at the Colonial Theatre - in Boston

"Oh dear, possums! I had so hoped to play your tiny little Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, but I guess it was all an April Fool's joke. The rascals in my booking office were sure I didn't mean your beautiful old Berkshires, so they booked me instead in Boston. Well, you will just have to hitch up old Dobbin and clip-clop your way down the Mohawk Trail to the big city where you can really get scalped on ticket prices!"
Dame Edna with a Glady

Tony Award winner Dame Edna Everage — international housewife, therapist, gigastar, fashion icon, guru and swami — is sweeping into Boston with her latest touring show, direct from Florida where she has been avoiding our cold New England weather. Entitled Dame Edna - Live and Intimate in Her First Last Tour, the production is scheduled to arrive at Boston's Colonial Theatre April 16 for five performances, concluding April 19.

From Boston her tour will take her to Fort Worth, Los Angeles and San Diego. At no time will it pass through or near the Berkshires.

This is not her first visit to New England. She has traversed the USA (but not the Berkshires) in two previous Tony attracting shows, “The Royal Tour” and “Back with a Vengeance,” Dame Edna’s performances have won a Tony Award and a Tony Nomination plus countless critical awards. In fact, until now, they have received very little criticism.
"I had so hoped to have made the Pittsfield Fools Ball, I even had this simple little dress thrown together for the occasion."

Tickets for the Dame Edna Everage engagement are currently on sale through Ticketmaster, or better yet, save the surcharges and buy them directly at The Colonial Theatre Box Office, 106 Boylston Street, Boston during normal box office hours Monday through Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm.

Dame Edna is currently on tour with her new and uniquely intimate offering which she created on her private multi million acre, possum-infested luxury estate in her native Australia.

On making the announcement, Dame Edna said: “I don’t do shows Possums, I make History!” “In a spooky way I am theater in the making. My shows are really not shows at all, they are not Events; they are MIRACLES which you can proudly tell your grandchildren you witnessed.”

We are pleased to share the results of a brief conversation with Dame Edna:
"Don't you think that question is just a little bit spooky?"

Q: Dame Edna what do you do on stage that is so special?
A: I sing, I dance, I give advice to audience members, I glimpse from the stage. It’s group therapy really, shrinks recommend me!

Q: Are you alone on stage?
A: Not exactly, the audience is my support act. I even invite selected audience members on stage, dress them up in more glamorous clothes than they ever dreamt of owning. I’ve also got my beautiful Ednaettes, scrumptious girl dancers and stunning costumes that the men folk would really appreciate if they could ever take their eyes off me. Then there’s Wayne Barker, my handsome award winning musical director on keyboards, who will send you out of the theatre singing.

Q: Will the show make us laugh?
A: We guarantee at least one major laugh per half minute and one falling off YOUR SEAT howling and crying every 3 minutes and 23 seconds. These statistics have been compiled by the Royal British Society of Theatrical Statistics.

Q: Is your show topical?
A: Every show I do is tailored to the city I am playing and audiences feel I’ve actually been living in their midst for years. I hit the nail on the head every time with zillions of up to the minute local references.

Q: Is your show suitable for the family?
A: There are no four letter words or gross obscenities in my show. It’s not for infants, but children love it, seniors adore it, gays revel in it, red-necks worship it, and nice people like you come back again and again. It’s intelligent, it’s caring, it’s funny and compassionate. It’s the show America needs more than anything else right now.
Dame Edna Wannabees

Q: What kind of people have enjoyed this show?
A: Do you know who I mean by Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Henry Kissinger, Michael J. Fox, Steven Spielberg, Michelle Pfeiffer, Nelson Mandela and Cher?

Q: What is your message?
A: The message of laughter, which is the best weapon against world tension that was ever invented.

Q: How do you stay so beautiful?
A: A lot of people say I'm a beauty. I disagree. I'm not traditionally beautiful. I've got a lovely bone structure. I have a beautiful personality, some men find me raunchy. But I don't think of myself as a beauty anymore than I would have thought little Celine Dion is a beauty or Madonna. In many ways you can say they are plain, ugly even, hideous. But I'm beautiful inside. I think its what I radiate that people love. There's an inner beauty there, and it's recognized, and it's rare in a comedian because fundamentally I'm in the business of making people laugh and making people happy. I don't set out to do it. It’s people, they just can't help laughing when they see me and I'm not embarrassed by that. I think it's rather sexy. As a matter of fact, my husband used to laugh. In fact, on my honeymoon he never stopped laughing.

Dame Edna's Busy Tour Schedule:

6 April to 7 April
 - Sarasota, FL
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

10 April to 11 April - 
Philharmonic Centre for The Arts

16 April to 19 April
 - Boston, MA
Colonial Theater

2 June to 7 June - 
San Diego 
Civic Theatre

9 June to 21 June - 
Los Angeles, CA
 Ahmanson Theater

23 June to 28 June - 
Fort Worth, TX
Bass Performance Hall

Dame Edna's Tour is funded with support from Friends of the Prostate and Ednacare Switzerland.