All About Me: Dame Edna & Feinstein reception
Report by Tulis McCall
Dame Edna Everage and Michael Feinstin made a special appearance on 16 Feb 2010 at the Red Eye Grill for a press conference and informal Q and A about their upcoming Broadway musical entertainment All About Me
The two entered hand-in-hand, Edna remarking that she was uncertain of the quality of the room and calling out Hulloo's to her "Possums". Once seated, Edna, ravishing in red sequins, diamonds, and a bouffant with a purple rinse, remarked that she wasn't quite certain what a blogger was. "Sounds a little suggestive to me." She noted the paucity of women in the room (what a surprise) and hoped that nothing untoward would happen to her person. Then she thanked us all for being there.
"Broadway has been kind to me," said Everage, "throwing Tony's at me."
"Not at me," said Feinstein.
"Yes dear but you got that other award, oh what was it, the one that is less than a Tony...? Oh! An Emmy. You got one of those didn't you?"
Michael Feinstein has his work cut out for him just keeping pace with Dame Edna - and he presented himself admirably. There was a brief trip down memory lane where they spoke of the dinners they used to attend at Roddy McDowell's house with Lauren (we call her Betty) Bacall, who hated the food and loved the company, Vincent Price, Betty Davis, etc. When they noticed that some of these names were not eliciting an enthusiastic response Dame Edna leaned in to Feinstein and said, "We are not dealing with the intelligencia here are we?"
Dame Edna revealed that she might be the child of George Gershwin, who washed up on a beach in 1936 and landed on top of her mother. When Feinstein pointed out the date discrepancy, Everage replied - "Oh my mother saved e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. She had a freezer you know."
The two were asked where they liked to lunch: Feinstein is a vegetarian. Edna? Red meat, what else?
The two claimed not to have a rehearsal process or much of a plan, because the idea is of their show predicated on both of them wanting the same show title All About Me. They allowed as how it was the Shuberts who brought them together and convinced them that two would be better than one on stage. And they did promise that they will be s-h-a-r-i-n-g, as good chums do. Feinstein will get time alone on stage as will Dame Edna. Edna will get the star dressing room, however, because she has all the frocks.
I spent a bit of time with the other members of the creative team, including Lizzie Spender and Terrence Flannery. This is a mutual admiration society with nothing but gratitude and respect for everyone involved. Although Casey Nicholaw was not present, he was mentioned more than once as a director who knows what he is doing and is a gifted collaborator as well. Rare bird, that.
In closing our too brief time together, Dame Edna was asked to sum up the show.
"I'd say it was a love/hate relationship between a tall, attractive Australian and," she looked Feinstein over slowly, "...an...American. "And, we hope it will be the Best Show In Town."
Amen to that.Michael Feinstein & Dame Edna Everage
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