The Mother of All Drag Queens

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 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 town of Wagga Wagga. She made her theatrical debut in 1955 and instantly became a jet setter, bouncing between villas in Los Angeles, Sydney, and Switzerland. Today, she’s a confidant of the Queen and a worldwide television star.

One of her best stories involves walking on a beach in the south of France, when she ran into Picasso, who invited her 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” from the flesh of Elizabeth Taylor’s left love-handle. This month, Dame Everage will grace South Florida with her enormous, glittering, glamorous presence as part of her show, Dame Edna: My First Last Tour. Dame Edna runs through March 28 at the Parker Playhouse, at 707 NE Eighth St. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets start at $15.
Sat., March 21, 2009

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