Pictured Sketch by Theoni V. Aldredge for La Cage Aux Folles in 1983.
Dame Edna Everage came and went last week at the voluminous Cadillac Palace Theatre, and Jonny was there on opening night with seats in the fourth row on the aisle. Jonny could see all of the Great Dame's many chins and caught one of Edna's signature gladioli. Jonny nearly was called on stage, but Dame Edna went instead for an—ahem—older man sitting three seats down. Once they got his oxygen tank over the footlights, he was fine.
The audience of approximately 2,000 people was overwhelmingly composed of gay men. Indeed, Jonny searched in vain for a token straight person to whom to say hello, and had to settle for a fellow theater critic whom Jonny knows to be married and a father, although one never can tell about theater critics, can one?
Seriously, Jonny finds it rather astonishing that Barry Humprhies, a heterosexual man well into his 70s, has created an onstage persona—Dame Edna—who attracts more gay men than any female performer since Judy Garland.
Jonny never slept with Andy Warhol, but Jonny DID see Warhol in person twice—once with Jackie O.—on his arm at a Broadway theater and once all by his lonesome, sitting on the stoop of a Manhattan brownstone apartment building. Well, Andy is dead but his art lives on and becomes more valuable with each passing year. Now you, too, can reflect on the fascination of soup cans, pop art, silk screenings and images of Marilyn, Mao, Elvis, Troy Donahue and Jackie O. herself as the Museum of Contemporary Art presents a Warhol show, through June 18. Andy Warhol Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters, 1962-1964, focuses on his work at The Factory during a narrow time frame, and features both still images and several of his early films. Sorry, dear readers, but the films do NOT include those with Joe Dellesandro in the nude.
Well, they've finally done it on As the World Turns—they've said the g-word with reference to young Luke Grimaldi, son of forever-heroine Lily Walsh Snyder Grimaldi Santana Snyder and stepson of hunky hero Holden Snyder. As of three weeks ago, high school student Luke admitted he was gay, but not to his parents. He's in love with a boy who probably isn't gay but thinks Luke is a great drinking bud. Luke has confessed to a pretty girl his own age ( ostensibly his cousin, but not ) , who's playing beard for him: they've arranged to let Lily catch them in bed together. We'll be right back with the second half of As the World Turns in just a moment.
Chocoholics: Redmoon Theater is mounting a show that tastes as good as it sounds. The Golden Truffle, April 5-June 18, features a four-course truffle tasting served to the audience by Redmoon performers. The scenic design will turn Redmoon Central into a dessert lounge, with cash bar before and during the show. The fancy chocolates are being supplied by Vosges Haut-Chocolate, the shows exclusive chocolatier sponsor. FYI: The Golden Truffle is a musical. While Redmoon shows frequently feature live musical accompaniment, this is the troupe's first musical, strictly speaking. Call ( 312 ) 850-8440, ext. 111; $35-$45.
Nearly every great song that George Gershwin wrote—from The Man I Love to I Got Rhythm—had lyrics by his big brother Ira. Joan Curto celebrates the lyrics of Ira Gershwin March 25 at 8 p.m. at Davenport's before taking the show on tour to Michigan, Milwaukee and Florida. Reservations are recommended.
Special guest performers Honey West, Fifi Depraved and Teri-yaki will join cabaret fave Amy Armstrong at 11 p.m. each Friday night at Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, as Armstrong remounts Inside Amy's Mind through April 21 only. She describes it as an adult variety show: a TV musical spectacular with network censors nowhere in site. Theatre Building Chicago now has a bar, and it definitely will be open for Inside Amy's Mind.
The DePaul University Art Museum, 2350 N. Kenmore, hosts an exhibit of costume sketches by Tony Award and Oscar-winning designer Theoni V. Aldredge. You know her work ( and, maybe, even have wanted to wear some of it! ) , among which are the costumes for such Broadway shows as A Chorus Line, Annie, 42nd Street and La Cage Aux Folles. But didja know she studied theater design right here in Chicago? She's a 1952 graduate of The Goodman School of Drama ( now the Theatre School, DePaul University ) .
Theoni V. Aldredge: Broadway and Beyond runs at the Museum March 27-May 16, with a free opening reception April 6, 5-7 p.m.