Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eddie Izzard: Work in Progress

Last week we went to see British comedian Eddie Izzard perform in the East Village as part of his Work in Progress tour. As the music wafting through the theater built to a crescendo, his name was announced. FYI:  "Izzard" rhymes with "gizzard" or "lizard".  Eddie entered the bare stage speaking French and basically informing the audience that the entire performance would be in that language. Luckily, he eventually  switched back to his (and our) native tongue. He is a workhorse, doing two shows each night during his limited engagement. When we couldn't get tickets to the 8 o'clock show, we bit the bullet and got two for the 10:30 pm show last Thursday evening. It was worth it -- we scored two seats on the aisle in the second row in an intimate environment. We ran into our friend Jane who is a big fan and was there for the third time during this engagement.

It was the perfect angle from which to see him perform and to observe Eddie's manicure (also highly visible in the poster for the show): bright metallic red nails with the ring fingers' nails painted bright blue.

As a follow-up to his memorable entrance speaking in a foreign tongue, Eddie told the audience that after he took lessons using an almost total immersion technique he can also do his routines in French! Hard to believe, but true. He recently did a two-week tour in France performed entirely in French.  

After hysterically mimicking a recent performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at Wembley Stadium, Eddie informed us in no uncertain terms that, as "an Action Transvestite", he doesn't do (or appreciate) musical theater.  While describing the expansion of the Roman Empire and after blithely revealing that Pontius Pilate "really was a pilot" (totally ignoring the spelling, which is okay, as he hints at being dyslexic), he went into a whole schtick about how, as they conquered a territory, the Romans would offer the vanquished population the choice to "Join us or die!" After pretending to be one of the conquered mulling over the choice (something like:  "Hmmm. Join or die ... join or die ... join or ... Wait, I know! I'll join!"),  Eddie observed that the Romans would then build a series of aqueducts, proving they weren't all bad.  His final observation was that "the Romans were basically fascist plumbers!"

Rather than continue to subject you to practically verbatim remembrances of portions of Eddie's routines, we've pulled together some videos of some of his recent and not-so-recent performances to give you a taste of his unique brand of humor.

We are absolutely crestfallen to tell you that we were not allowed to take pictures of our transvestite hero.  We've previously noticed that some of our You Tube inserts, while complete in content, show up cropped on our website.  Today all seems well, but just in case, we're attaching links that will take you to the same video, but uncropped.  All of these videos are short - from two minutes to a maximum of about nine.  Some of our readers have very, very delicate sensibilities and sensitive ears.  We'd like to warn those people that Eddie really likes the F word, and is an equal opportunity insulter.  But he's so much fun, and always so surprising, that you forgive him everything, as if he were your wayward child.  We chose some of these so you could see a variety of costumes.  The Eddie we saw was in jeans.  We heard he'd been sick the night before, so we forgive him for not wearing sequins for our show.

Below, Eddie re-enacts important moments from WW II.
For an unobstructed view of Eddie’s take on WWII, click here.

Here's Eddie on puberty (his, he says).
Click here to go to the You Tube link of Eddie’s discourse on puberty.

Here's Eddie doing his show in French.  Some of the routine above is replayed here, so you can practice your own French!
For the alternative view of Eddie being hysterical in French, click here.

Below, Eddie expounds on the subject of popes.

Blah blah blah, link to Eddie on popes,You Tube, blah blah.

Here's Eddie on religion, with a segue into dinosaurs. Of course!
Better view, Eddie on religion and dinosaurs, click here.

Eddie did a wonderful skit on Neanderthals.
You know the drill. Etcetera, etcetera, here.

Then Eddie learned, thanks to the BBC (that’s The Beeb, to us) that he is, in fact, close to 3% genetically Neanderthal. (Yes, really. So they’re not entirely extinct!) See his response to the news below.
Alternate view here.

After the performance, we waited patiently outside with several other die hard fans, hoping to at last take a picture, but after a bit of milling about in the cold, we snagged an employee shutting up the doors (or something) and asked him if Eddie would be coming out our way.  Once again we were crestfallen (and you know how easily older women's crests fall) to discover our hero had ducked out through another entrance.  Sigh....

What we're wearing:

Jean is wearing an Ignatius faux leopard cocktail hat, Costume National jacket, Comfy USA bubble skirt, Underground black & white creepers.

Valerie is wearing a vintage Hattie Carnegie hat, a black nylon Calvin Klein coat over a gray wool Searle coat, a hand made red wool scarf from South America (unlabeled), Comme des Garcons pants, Arche shoes, and she can't remember what shirt or jacket, but it doesn't matter because you can't see them anyway.


  1. I knew of Eddie Izzard, but had never seen him perform - you lucky dogs (2nd row!). His routines on WWII and puberty are hysterical!

  2. I love the "f' word too.

    Thank you ladies for enriching my life by showing me yours.