Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Review: Eddie Izzard's "Stripped"

Park Bench correspondent Meghann checks in with a fabulous report on Eddie Izzard new live show:

All my comedy fangirl dreams came true last night: I saw Eddie Izzard live and in person. And I am here to tell you folks, he is a stone cold fox.

I have never been shy about proclaiming my love and lust for Eddie Izzard – he’s hilarious, intelligent, and sexy. In this latest show, Stripped, Eddie proclaimed he’s going to talk about “everything.” He started with Wikipedia (since they have information about everything) and we go through the beginnings of the world, meandering off into tangents about hunters vs. gatherers (Eddie proclaims he would be a hunter), how giraffes could possibly hide, why the guy who plays “Flight of the Bumblebee” perfectly can’t get laid because he plays tuba, and of course, how there were millions of ducks after the Noah’s ark thing because ducks wouldn’t drown in the flood. Oh yeah, and he also talked about how there is no God. At length.

I was struck by the breadth of knowledge Eddie Izzard has about history, opera, world politics, religion, and the scope of the sounds he’s capable of making. I think this is the real genius of his work: it is at once absurd and smart like whoa. At one point, he impersonated an appendix- you know, the thing in your body. The strange thing about watching the show last night was that I totally enjoyed myself and had a great time but I couldn’t tell you any of the jokes or the punchlines. I could pretty much perform Glorious and Dress To Kill for you word-for-word, but that’s because I watched those videos a million and a half times back when I was single and needed company when I was falling asleep.

This show was a gift to my best friend for her birthday, so she and I and her sister and my boyfriend were all there at the Academy of Music last night...with just about every other theatre person in Philadelphia. We kept running into people we know and work with and honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised. Let’s distill the facts:

* Comedy
* Heavily quotable material
* Transvestite

OBVIOUSLY theatre people love Eddie Izzard.

Because people will ask, Eddie wore jeans, a black t-shirt, and black tails with red satin lining. Someone in the audience shouted “Where’s your stilettos!?” about 1/3 through the show, to which our hero replied “Fuck off, Nazi.” (Our audience was a bit shouty at times, which was lame.) Eddie sort of collected himself and did an explanation about being a transvestite and how it’s been kind of a double-edged sword for him in the States because he started stand up in the states wearing mens’ clothing, not sure he would get gigs in a dress. Then people started questioning if he really WAS a transvestite since he didn’t cross dress, so he started wearing dresses. THEN the reviewers started saying, “He looks like a mess.” So, he just wears what he feels like now. And then I fell in love with him all over again.

Long story short, I highly recommend seeing Eddie Izzard live if you get the chance. He’s off-the-cuff, bizarre and can handle a large room. He might even compliment your sneeze if you let one rip.

7 comments:

Nightfall said...

Swoon!

I've been a fan since I saw Dressed To Kill on HBO and got to see him a while back on the Sexie tour. Hot damn! Now *that's* a Nerd Man of the Month. His comedy is so smart and hysterical. I'm so jealous of Meghann!

His website is fun to play around on too if only to hear the little audio snippets. (eddieizzard.com)

eightk said...

I was there last night too, and I agree that the shouty people were annoying. Shut up, Philadelphia.

But Eddie? Magnificent. Make outs and swoons.

tgrfan23 said...

I'm very much looking forward to seeing Eddie here in Atlanta next month!

Now if only someone would be kind enough to send a review of the Kids in the Hall tour, so I can decide whether or not to go?

Jen said...

I saw him in DC last weekend and he killed. Meghann is right - he looked v. good in the tails & jeans!

The only problem is that you with seeing him live is trying not to laugh so you can catch the next bit!

Currently thinking about ordering Sexie from Amazon UK.

Liz said...

tgrfan23, I really wanted to go see Kids in the Hall. I saw them maybe five or six years ago and they were awesome. I should have brought an oxygen tank with me that night. I came very close to needing one.

Tickets are just so expensive for this new tour. I'm hoping I win some sort of lottery so I can still see the show.

B said...

was it better than sexie and the circle? material wise

Trold Hawk said...

@ B: I know this is a reply to a six months old question, but i just saw it now, so this might be more useful in regards to the DVD, whenever that comes out. But in response to your question, for me it was a definite yes. I saw the show in London on the 18th of nov., and I thought the material was the best since Dress to Kill. I was very disappointed in the Sexie DVD, but I understand that it was filmed very early in the tour before everything had really gelled. Stripped on the other hand seems to be very well put together, and is just very very funny. Also more so than Circle.