Born in what is now Yemen, Eddie Izzard moved to Northern Ireland a year later, realized that he was a transvestite at age 4, lost his mother to cancer at age 6 and decided to become an actor at age 7. Things just got weirder from there on. Nowadays he’s one of Britain’s top comics, as well as a star of TV, stage and screen, with an Emmy, a Tony nomination and a couple of honorary doctorates under his belt. He runs marathons for charity and wants to run for mayor of London.
Izzard has been described by The New York Times as “the most brilliant comedian of his generation,” by himself as “a male lesbian” and by John Cleese as “the Lost Python.” And he’s coming to the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie this Saturday, February 16, for two shows at 6 and 9 p.m. Any questions?
The Monty Python reference is a good indicator of Izzard’s comedic style. Picture the surreal, disjointed logic of the Python troupe’s sketch comedy coming out of one person in a sort of ADHD-fueled, free-associative monologue, rendered in a variety of British accents, and you’ll get the general idea. In fact, he does a sketch about the Church of England called “Cake or Death?” that could easily be the next item in the Pythons’ famed “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” sequence, if the rest of the cast went home.
Izzard starred as Wayne Malloy, a swindling Traveller (the Irish version of a Rom or Gypsy) who steals the identity of an upscale Louisiana suburbanite, in the TV series The Riches. His film credits include Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen, Mystery Men, Shadow of the Vampire, The Cat’s Meow, Across the Universe and Valkyrie. He has provided voices for Reepicheep in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Nigel in The Wild, Dr. Schadenfreude in Igor and Miles Axelrod in Cars 2.
Tickets for these shows are going fast, so contact the Bardavon posthaste if you want to catch this genius of the absurd while he’s passing through the Hudson Valley. All seats cost $60. To order, visit the Bardavon box office at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072; the Ulster Performing Arts Center box office at 601 Broadway in Kingston, (845) 339-6088; or visit www.bardavon.org.
Eddie Izzard, Saturday, February 16, 6 & 9 p.m., $60, Bardavon 1869 Opera House, 35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie; (845) 473-2072, www.bardavon.org.