Malibu Seen: The Dame Bids Adieu

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Dame Edna is a showbiz one-of-a-kind.

There are many Music Center fans in Malibu, but some of the wackiest and most adventurous wouldn’t miss an evening with the purple-haired thunder from down under — the great Dame Edna. 

His/her one-woman show is playing now playing at the Ahmanson Theatre to the delight of zany and fearless followers. 

Who or what is Dame Edna, you might ask? She is the creation of 80-year-old Australian Barry Humphries. Think old-school Joan Rivers, Don Rickles in the day, Nathan Lane in “The Birdcage” with a royal touch of Queen Liz, all rolled into one. 

You’d never miss Ms. Edna in a crowd, with her electric lilac bouffant hairdo, endless array of rhinestones and octopus eyewear that would make Elton John weep. 

Humphries has been playing to his Edna devotees for decades and now the Ahmanson is hosting his “Glorious Goodbye Farewell Tour.” 

“It won’t be like Cher,” says the Center Theatre Group’s Phyllis Moberly, referring to the Malibu diva’s endless finales. “I don’t think you’ll see another tour from Dame Edna.” 

The off-the-wall lady of merriment promises a show to remember. “I’m back at my home away from home on Grand Avenue,” she states in all her radiant splendor. “And I am at the height of my powers. Let me heal you with laughter.” 

Even though Edna dominates the stage, others help weave her magic, including Ralph Coppola, Brooke Pascoe, Eve Prideaux and Armando Yearwood, Jr. The production is directed by Simon Phillips, with Jonathan Tessero serving as musical director and onstage accompanist while Andrew Ross has the duties of musical supervisor. 

The Dame has taken on a life of her own. She started out in Humphries’ wild imagination as a run-of-the-mill Melbourne hausfrau and blossomed into the “Housewife and Superstar,” “Megastar” and, finally, the “Gigastar” we know today. 

Along the way, the Dame has developed an increasingly lavish wardrobe and flamboyant personality to match. 

Now is the time to enjoy it all. The glorious tribute begins with a video presentation, threatening to expose the Dame’s “real story” and features cameos by A-list fans like Geoffrey Rush, Hugh Jackman and Kelly Osbourne. The performance is sprinkled with some audience interaction, as well as a few fancy song and dance numbers. 

After an exhilarating warm up, Dame shares exotic tales of her trip to India where she ate, prayed and found love after encountering a local boy toy. You get the idea. But purple hair, cat glasses, rhinestones and all — they are merely the trappings of a campy show biz legend. All told, Dame Edna is nothing short of a phenomenon to her fans. You can catch her “Glorious Goodbye: The Farewell Tour” until March 15. So enjoy Dame Edna, darlings, or as she likes to call them, her “precious, purple opossums.”