While Barry Humphries’ best known alter ego is resident Broadway diva Dame Edna, New York auds will get a rare taste of another of the entertainer’s long-running characters when “Sir Les Patterson… Unzipped!” plays a special one-night-only engagement at Gotham’s Zipper Theater on April 18.
Billed as “a theatrical collector’s item” and “an evening of Australian charm and tasteful eroticism with Australia’s cultural ambassador to the United States,” the show introduces a character who has been a staple of Humphries’ performances in Australia and in the U.K. but is little known to auds in the U.S.
A drooling, overweight vulgarian usually inebriated and outfitted in food- and alcohol-stained ’70s leisure suits, Patterson is most often seen with an arm draped lecherously around his latest shapely secretary. A dubious contributor to Australia’s international cultural profile, Sir Les is viewed with open distaste by Dame Edna, his better-known associate in the Humphries group.
Bearing the presentation credit “Dame Edna Everage profoundly regrets,” the announcement of the Zipper show also carries a warning: “Contains obscene language, offensive gestures and obscure references.”
“Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance” is running through June 4 at the Music Box.