Sometimes being a blogger does have benefits, as was demonstrated last week when Kitty and I got free seats (and good ones too, right down in front) for a performance of Dame Edna's "Live and Intimate First Last Tour" at the Post Street Theater. At first I almost passed on the offer, since drag comediennes aren't really my thing, but then I figured, hey, it's free, and once Kitty signed on to accompany me, I actually looked forward to it.
Dame Edna's schtick is that she's really a horrible person, but one who knows how to be horrible in that polite, British way. So, she can affectionately refer to the audience members as "possums" at the same time that she can say "oh, what's the word I'd use to describe that dress? I know, home made!" She was like the genteel version of drag queen Charlie Brown, who used to headline the cabaret at Backstreets in Atlanta and would come onstage with the call "I smell straaaaaaaaaight pussy," then proceed to "read" everyone in the audience. Her humor is largely built on the tension of her mannered meanness, and when the evening is "intimate" and she's directly interacting with the audience, there's a kind of dread that accompanies everything. Having read a review of the show in the Chronicle I had an idea of what to expect (and which ruined a few of the jokes for me, so I won't give away any spoilers here) and really, really hoped that other people would fill in the seats next to me so as to help protect me from the roving eye of the Dame.
Kitty and I had a great time, though we left at the intermission - two hours, plus intermission, was a bit more of Dame Edna than either of us could take, and since the seats were free, it wasn't like we were losing anything. The thing I noticed, though, was that we were among the youngest people at the show - given that prices for seats ran $58, $68, and $100 a piece I think I understand why. If you are a fan of Dame Edna I'm sure that this is a reasonable price to see such a glamorous star, but it seemed a bit steep to me. Still, if you're looking for something special to do over the holidays, Dame Edna is sure to be an experience you'll never forget.