Some comics transcend their material; Barry Humphries, a.k.a. Dame Edna, is one such. Edna is funny in appearance, demeanor, voice, and, yes, aura. Her Aussie accent, vocal inflections, facial expressions (eyes rolling and popping), kookaburra singing, sideways-hopping kangaroo dancing, plus fright wig, fright makeup, fright costumes, could in the street outside stop traffic. The show that ensues inside, Back With a Vengeance!, is just so much gravy. Since Edna’s act is largely based on toying with the audience, much depends on the extent to which, willingly, toys are us. Spectators who, seated or onstage, relish being subjected to the sauciest but sweetest ridicule make an applaudable difference. In any case, by the time we get to the show-within-the-show—Edna and audience members enacting a scene from her putative autobiographical drama, The Girl From Oz—helpless laughter, like a tidal wave, engulfs one and all.
Dame Edna: Back With A Vengeance!
by Dame Edna
At the Music Box Theater