Dame Edna, Feinstein continue public spat
Dame Edna Everage and Michael Feinstein continue to engage in a public spat that many legiters have begun to suspect is a stunt, with Edna announcing the names of two producers and the potential addition of scribe Christopher Durang to her show’s creative team.Dame Edna (the alter ego of comedian Barry Humphries) and crooner Feinstein have shows skedded to open on Broadway within a week of each other in March, each at a Shubert theater that has not yet been confirmed. The two topliners have been squabbling over the similar titles of their productions, with Feinstein naming his offering “All About Me” and Edna calling hers “It’s All About Me.” A rep for the Edna show announced Robert G. Bartner (“The Seagull,” “Boeing-Boeing”) and Ambassador Theater Group (“Guys and Dolls”) have joined the previously mysterious producing team of “It’s All About Me,” adding later that Durang (“The Marriage of Bette and Boo”) is in talks to pen it. The releases look like an attempt to quell speculation that producer (and veteran press agent) Jeffrey Richards, the backer of the Feinstein outing, is also behind the Edna production — and that the two are in fact the same show, now seemingly penned by Durang and helmed by Jerry Zaks, the previously announced director of Edna’s show. Reps for Feinstein’s show “All About Me,” however, are keeping a straight face, sending out a statement from the musician directed at Dame Edna: “Titles are not copyrightable. I wish Ms. Edna well. I’ve heard of her.” Edna responded, “Someone purchased a CD of Mr. Feinstein’s at a flea market in Australia and regifted it to me recently. I’m impressed at how often he sings on key.” Edna’s “It’s All About Me” is skedded to open March 23, while Feinstein’s “All About Me” opens March 30. The Off Broadway staging of tuner “The Toxic Avenger” will close in January after a run of about nine months, after which the musical will gear up for a national tour. Producers of the show, which began perfs at Off Broadway’s New World Stages March 18 before it opened there April 6, have said a lengthy Off Broadway run would help “Toxic” establish itself as a property that could then establish outposts in other cities (as it has in Toronto, where a production opened last month) and on tour. Tuner by composer-lyricist David Bryan and scribe Joe DiPietro, the duo behind “Memphis,” shutters at New World Stages Jan. 3. Carrie Fisher solo show “Wishful Drinking” will extend its Broadway run at Roundabout Theater Company’s Studio 54, where the production now plays through Jan. 17. Fisher’s autobiographical outing, which began perfs Sept. 22 and opened Oct. 4, already was set for an engagement (originally through Jan. 3) that was unusually long for a show that is part of a nonprofit theater’s season programming. Though not a record-breaker, “Drinking” has proven a solid seller for the Roundabout, with its viability no doubt helped by the low running costs associated with solo shows. Production, which has toured nationally, is helmed by Tony Taccone, a.d. of Berkeley Rep, where “Drinking” played twice prior to its Rialto stint.