Posted on February 18, 2010
The great Dame Edna (otherwise known as Barry Humphries) has no equal. But now she has an understudy. Auditions were held yesterday in New York to find an “honorary” understudy for the soon-to-open Broadway vehicle “All About Me.” (It starts previews on Monday, February 22 at Henry Miller’s Theater and opens Thursday, March 18.) Actors (who of course came dressed as the Great Dame) performed a two-minute audition, including a monologue, performance piece, or dance movement. They were also asked to sing. What were the criteria? Contestants were judged on costume, makeup, accent and “Dame-like demeanor.” You’d know it if you saw it. Judges included the dame herself, as well as Michael Feinstein, who co-stars in the production, as well as several media bigwigs: Broadway critic Michael Riedel (The New York Post), entertainment writer Michael Musto (The Village Voice), and NY1’s Frank DiLella. The show was co-written by Humphries and Feinstein, along with playwright Christopher Durang ("Beyond Therapy"). The Dame, the alter ego of comedian Barry Humphries, has to her credit performances for the royal family, television appearances, Broadway shows, books, and the adoration of fans worldwide. Her hometown, Melbourne, renamed a city street in her honor. She is known for her lilac hair and cat’s-eye glasses. The winner of the contest—ta-da! was Scott Mason, who has worked professionally as a Dame Edna impersonator. He will receive a Playbill credit.