Eddie Izzard: Work in Progress: Culture Project 22 February 2013

Second night with my boyfriend Eddie Izzard as he works on his routine for his upcoming Force Majeure world tour.

Before the show rtb and I met up again at NoHo Star and it was very busy. We were happy to see that because the last time we were there the place was very empty and I was afraid for the NY institution. The menu has something to satisfy anyone and the wines are always delicious and reasonably priced.

We got to the theater minutes before 8pm and were still faced with an overcrowded lobby. They started letting people into the theater right after we got there. This time we sitting audience right but close enough to center that we still had a great view. Again there was Elton John and the Kinks over the sound system. When “I’m a Believer” came on, rtb and I looked at each wide-eyed and happy – that was the song that was used for his entrance last time. But the theater doors were still open and despite not having high hopes, my eyes never left the spot where he enters from backstage. Another song came on and just before it ended and we caught a glimpse of Eddie and started clapping and he came on stage speaking in French telling us that the show would be in English. Eddie told us that sometimes that joke goes flat but this audience had given it the biggest laugh yet. He also talked about foreign languages and adding “fuck” into the middle of words – like “magnifuckingique.”

Eddie was dressed similarly as before – black suit jacket, black t-shirt, jeans, high-heeled boots, and red lacquered nails except for the ring fingers, which were blue. He looked thinner. He had a hand-mic this time and kept coughing and fighting off sniffles. Sometimes he worked his cold into the joke.

Eddie started talking about Nazis and how they wouldn’t like his show. After some Hitler and Nazi jokes he told us that those jokes go over very well in Berlin where he has already sold out a 17,000 arena. And then he was talking about the fact that there is no god(s) and there were some of the same routines with small or large changes. We heard Liam Neeson (in a very strong Irish accent) playing Zeus in Clash of the Titans saying, “Release the Kraken!” but this time the Kraken didn’t find itself in so many different situations.

When Eddie ended a joke comparing something to the turtle that had lived in a box for 30 years, the audience didn’t respond. He asked if we knew about the turtle that had lived in a box for 30 years. Suddenly an audience member blurted out about the turtle in the attic and Eddie started riffing on how the guy had been sleeping all night but hears ‘turtle’ and he suddenly wakes up. It was one of the funniest bits and it was all off the top of his head.

As funny as Eddie is when he’s talking – and he is very funny – like reciting Shakespeare in a very high voice or talking about priests having difficulty getting virgins for human sacrifice because the couples are having sex on the way to the altar, he is even funnier during his pantomimes. Watching him mock run across the stage as he leads a charge with his legs and arms flapping out like a toddler just learning to run is hysterical. The Olympic dressage competition where the horse has to enter a house and burglarize it or the ballerina who is in the wrong spot and has to figure out how to get to the correct point on the stage are pantomimed brilliantly and I was laughing throughout.

It was fun to see what routines changed and what was dropped from earlier this month. Also it’s always a joy to see Eddie crack himself up with a new twist or a totally new line.

Dimples, twinkly blue eyes, and sense of humor. My type of guy.

By Carene Lydia Lopez