The Mother of All Drag Queens

An Aussie star shines over Florida.

Dame Edna Everage is the most notorious drag queen in the Anglo-Saxon world. She’s a hybrid of Lou Dobbs and Ursula (the octopus queen in the Little Mermaid). There are more fake jewels on her dresses than there are grains of sand on a beach, and her trademark cat-eye glasses have tentacles. But make no mistake: she’s a woman of profound propriety and taste. And yes, her hair is naturally purple.

Dame Edna was born in Australia in the humble rural town of Wagga Wagga. She made her theatrical debut in 1955 and instantly became a jet-setter, alternating between villas in Los Angeles, Sydney, Switzerland. Today, she’s a confidant to the Queen and a worldwide television star. Walking on a beach in the south of France, she was accosted by Picasso and invited back to his studio.

“He was Spanish, and the only words I knew were tapas and ole,” she reminisces. “In a romantic encounter, that’s all you need.” She insists that her double-chin was “added”: she says it was once Elizabeth Taylor’s left love-handle. This month, Dame Everage will be gracing South Florida with her enormous, glittering, glamorous presence as part of her show, Dame Edna: My First Last Tour.

Dame Edna runs March 10 through 28 at the Parker Playhouse, at 707 NE Eight St. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets start at $15. Call 954-462-0222, or visit parkerplayhouse.com.
March 10-28, 2009

 
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