Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stage: Eddie Izzard

I’ll be blunt. Actor and comedian Eddie Izzard is a fucking genius. If you haven’t seen his concert special Dress To Kill, queue it up right now to see a performer at his absolute peak. When we heard that Eddie was doing two shows in Seattle to try out new material, we snapped up tickets at once.

The general theme of the set could, I suppose, be described as the evolution of human belief systems. A rubric broad enough to include the following digressions:

- What aliens with acid blood would really be like
- The inner monologue of the human appendix
- The reasons why cows would make great secret agents
- The difficulty faced by Roman soldiers in describing Hannibal’s elephants in Latin

All of it done Eddie’s singular style – rambling, discursive, yet circling back on itself in surprising ways.

That spontaneity led to the show’s high point, namely Eddie being hit in the face by a kamikaze fly that had gotten into the theater. It prompted a ten-minute riff that won’t be repeated anywhere else. Sometimes, you really do just have to be there.

When Eddie blanked on the name of “that dancer who died because her scarf was so long it got caught in the wheels of the car,” Rosemarie shouted out Isadora Duncan first and loudest. And here I thought she was so circumspect.

Seattle’s stint as the new New Haven continues. Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein musical is in tryouts here before opening on Broadway. We’ve got tickets for that, too, and will be seeing it later this week.