The divine Dame Edna (Everage) has returned to Toronto for her “Glorious Goodbye (Final) Farewell Tour. The ads are up across the city, online, and on television, and the crowds are showing up in droves to catch this one person extravaganza.

Decked out in a very sparkly gown, she harkens as to why no one else in the audience took the opportunity to dress up as well, instead looking like lost dishevelled souls. The show begins with a visual presentation of her growing up as a little girl in Australia, with her trademark spectacles intact, and continues through her stages of life after moving to the UK, marrying, and having children along the way. The context is often referenced back to once the diva walks on stage accompanied by her stagehands.

On opening night, the outrageously hilarious antics of Dame Edna had many audience members holding their stomachs and wiping their eyes from continuous laughter. The audience interaction is what makes the show, and also what makes each on different. Sure there are some lines that she may use for every show in every city, but by far the greatest fun she has is with her audience. She is not shy to admit that it’s not a scripted show, and she makes things up along the way. This is what makes her a top-notch performer.

Asking people their names, where they live, what kind of house they live in, or where they bought their “not so desirable” outfits, is all part of the fun and games. It’s almost as if she’s having as much fun onstage and the audience is watching her. She attempts to acknowledge everyone, even “the paupers” in the upper level, whom she deems “Les Miserables”, and whom she advises will get her attention for the equivalent amount of time in relation to what they paid for their cheaper seats.

Ms. Everage also makes many references to Canadian staples like Tim Horton’s and poutine, Canadian controversies with Ford, Ghomeshi, and Duffy, and to Toronto neighbourhoods Jane and Finch and Church and Wellesley. She also acknowledges the diverse mix of people in the audience from the snoozing seniors and bored theatre subscribers, to same-sex couples whom she nods to in one direction, then another, and another, until she is wildly head-bobbing back and forth.
The laughs are non-stop, and it is classic adlib sketch comedy at its best. Other than the likely standard lines mentioned above, each night will be a different story, told elegantly and intelligently by a lady with (some) class.
The show runs a little over two hours with intermission, and flows pretty non-stop considering it is one person carrying it all.
Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye Farewell Tour – On now until April 19, 2015. Princess of Wales Theatre — 300 King Street West, Toronto
Get tickets here
Spoiler Alert: Dame Edna is actually a man! Yes, this character first came to life back in 1955 when Barry Humphries joined the Melbourne Theatre. She began to gain mega-stardom in the late 1960’s after Humphries moved to London, and appeared at the Fortune Theatre. Since then she has been cast in several other west end productions, toured the world, made numerous television appearances, and won prestigious awards. Humphries is also an acclaimed author and artist.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.