I am still laughing after our press conference with Dame Edna today. She looked incredible and was so funny. Among other things she talked about Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama’s fashion sense. Evidently Dame was instrumental in getting Barbara Bush to stop wearing polyester! She also had a few fashion recommendations for Carole Keeton Strayhorn of all people.
The Dame loves Austin but she does think we need to reduce the bat population just a tad. The Paramount is so excited to host the world premiere for the 2008-09 North American Tour of her brand new show Dame Edna: My First Last Tour.
I tried to bring the press conference to an end but she told me to be quiet. So I did.
I can’t wait for the show. I suggest you “dress” for the occasion. Oh, and I just learned that the famous blogger Helen Philpot is coming to the show on Saturday. I am a big fan and can’t wait to meet her!
I have returned from the holiday break to some sad news. It seems that Barry Humphries, the voice of Bruce the Shark in Finding Nemo, and the man who plays Dame Edna had to have emergency surgery over the weekend. He will be unable to travel in time to make his Austin premiere. The show has been re-scheduled for the end of his North American tour on November 7-9. Your existing tickets are valid for the new show so hang on to them. More information will follow soon.
Now, if you ask Dame Enda about this, she will tell you a different story. After all, she refuses to admit that Barry Humphries is anything other than her manager. Here is the official message from the Megastar:
Dear Loyal Possums,
No woman is indestructible, not even me I am afraid. I have lived an unselfish life nurturing others with no thoughts for myself. I call it “putting something back” and I notice every little glamour puss has copied this phrase. However the other day my personal doctor, after the usual check up, told me there was a little feminine procedure I needed that could not wait. “Not botox!,” I said in horror. “No,” he said snapping on his surgical gloves, “but if you want to go on putting it back I have to take something out.” “What about my Austin possums, and my adoring fans in Texas?” “They love you, and they will wait,” said Dr. Shadenfreude (a Tommy Lee Jones look alike). Texas is no country for sick Megastars, so I will see you in November (November 7-9, 2008) Possums, “You will be back at the height of your powers,” said the doctor – and I will.
A joyous heart always.
Dame Edna is now officially a Giga-Star or at least that is what her press materials report. Click here to read the recent interview with the Statesman’s Michael Barnes. Get your tickets before the show sells out… I remember her series of specials on the then relatively new Fox Broadcasting Company back in the early 1990s. America didn’t know what to do with the superstar from Australia. It wasn’t until she took Broadway by storm a few years ago (then billed as a Mega-Star) that America welcomed her with open arms and a Tony award that would be followed by sold-out tours, spots on Alley McBeil, The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live… even the voice of “Bruce” the shark in Finding Nemo.
Be blessed. Be in the audience.
Fasten your seatbelts for the best show of the season…
Sunday afternoon we opened the Paramount for a free show featuring the winning bands from the Texas Music Project 10 Under 20 talent contest. The contest identifies the hottest, young music talent in Texas with contests currently in Dallas and Austin – with plans to expand. The Texas Music Project asked my Programming Director, Lietza Brass, to judge the Austin competition. Both Leitza and I were so impressed with the level of talent that we decided to invite the top three bands (High On Hotdogs, IMBiBE, Joker) to play the Paramount. They put on a fantastic show for the 400-ish in the audience. Let’s hope they all make it back to our stage one day in a “paying gig”…
The Texas Music Project raises funds for music education programs in public schools – an area which is sorely lacking when it comes to funding.
This morning I joined Jaston Williams at the KUT studios for an interview with John Aielli. Jaston was supposed to talk about Tuna Does Vegas while I talked about the rest of our season, but Jaston knows pretty much everyone and was able to join me in conversations about Shirley Maclaine, Olympia Dukakis and Dame Edna – three “women” we both adore on our season this year. You can hear the interview on Aielli Unleashed at the KUT website.
So I am ready for Dame Edna at the Paramount in January. I got these glasses in prepartion. Now, if you are not familiar with the Dame Edna Experience, then I quess this picture looks pretty ridiculous. Actually, I quess it looks ridiculous no matter what. (I can’t believe I posted it on the net!) Anyway, tickets to all our shows go on sale September 5… unless you are a donor/subscriber -you can order tickets now.
You know, these glasses could also work for Tuna Does Vegas. Speaking of Tuna… I chatted with Jaston Williams this week. He and Joe are back from their successful run at the Grand Opera House. Jaston told me they are upgrading the sets and making some changes to a few scenes based on how it played out in Galveston. I loved what I saw there, so this only means Jaston is keeping his promise about the Austin premiere – it has to be perfect for Austin because this is home.
I love that we have Jaston three times this season: Tuna Does Vegas, A Tuna Christmas, and Cowboy Noises. Welcome home Jaston. It’s going to be a great season at the Paramount!
Congratulations to Christine Ebersole for winning the Tony for her role in Grey Gardens. I had the opportunity to see that show last November with an ATA Board Member, Janet McQuaid, when we went to New York for a conference. It’s a fantastic show and I highly recommend you see it if you get to New York. So why will it most likely NOT play the Paramount? Unless a Broadway Musical is especially designed for a small theatre, it will most likely not fit the Paramount. The sets for Grey Gardens are lavish, gorgeous and, unfortunately, large. Built as a vaudeville house in 1915 the Paramount was not designed for the large musical productions that have become the norm on Broadway.
Sidebar – I also got to see Christine Ebersole perform her cabaret act in New York in January – what a voice. That performance, however, came after a bizarre cabaret performance from Patrick Cassidy. Patrick spent much of his time on stage that day letting the audience know that he isn’t gay…Hey Patrick – no one cares. Anyway, Mr. Cassidy will be playing the Paramount on June 22 in a TexARTS presentation of Carousel. You can also see his mother, Shirley Jones, at the TexARTS event on September 21 at the Riverbend Centre.
We are thrilled to have Broadway musicals that have been produced especially for our intimate stage as part of the coming 07/08 Season including The Mikado and Damn Yankees. And while not a musical, the new play from our friends in Tuna, Texas is the highlight of the season [Tuna Does Vegas]starring Tony nominated actor Joe Sears.
Several Tony winning performers from tonight’s awards show have graced the Paramount stage including Tommy Tune, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Phylicia Rashad, and Marvin Hamlisch. (By the way, if you were at Marvin’s Paramount show – that kid he pulled up on stage wasn’t staged!) And if you watched Eddie Izzard’s hilarious Tony presentation for the Best Special Theatrical Event be sure to see Dame Edna at the Paramount in January – winner of this award in 2000 and then nominated again in 2005. Oh and our Programming Director, Lietza Brass, has been desperately trying to get Eddie Izzard to the Paramount – stay tuned!
Tagged Bernadette Peters, Broadway, Christine Ebersole, Dame Edna, Eddie Izzard, Joe Sears, Mavin Hamlisch, Patrick Cassidy, Patti LuPone, Phylicia Rashad, Shirley Jones, Tommy Tune