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Awesome Possums

Though Webster's, American Heritage and even Oxford's Dictionary have failed to notice, possums aren't just American marsupials with prehensile tails and opposable thumbs. Dame Edna--besides making Elton John and Dynasty-era Joan Collins look underdressed and underprimped--has given that frequent roadkill a second life as her beloved nickname for her even more beloved audience members. She even uses it affectionately toward those in the balcony seats but only proportionately to the amount of money they paid to see her.

But don't let that snub from those dreadfully boring book people diminish the ultra megastar that is Dame Edna. She (or he--some allege Australian actor Barry Humphries is actually beneath the wisteria-colored wig and rhinestone-emblazoned glasses) is famous for plenty of other reasons, including television shows in America and Europe, rubbing elbows with the likes of Mel Gibson and Robin Williams, a column in Vanity Fair, a handful of movies and a Tony Award for her latest stage show The Royal Tour, which Dallas Summer Musicals brings to Fair Park for a special one-week engagement.


Dame Edna: The Royal Tour

Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave.

July 24 to July 29. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $11 to $56 from Ticketmaster, (214) 373-8000

The Royal Tour, despite its Broadway run and consequential award, comes with a caveat: Sit within the first dozen rows and risk becoming part of the show. During her adventures in audience participation, Dame Edna critiques her viewers' clothing choices, throws barbs as they describe their home design at her request, calls baby sitters and relatives on a speaker phone, dresses them as British royalty and even invites a couple onstage for dinner with a side of stomach-churning tales.

From the beginning video of her sometimes infamous career (such as the time she asked Roseanne if there was anything she regrets eating) to the grand Gladiolus Chorus, Dame Edna's The Royal Tour proves that being a dame isn't what one keeps in his or her support hose.


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