The first time I discovered the ultra-talented Eddie Izzard, I saw two sketches on Youtube.com. The first was his Death Star Canteen sketch that ended his Circle tour in 2000; the second was the Cake or Death sketch that was part of the previous Dress to Kill tour. Eddie Izzard is the kind of funny where, once you saw him, you knew your life had been incomplete up until that point. That was true for me.
I learned about pre-sale tickets on Eddie Izzard’s Facebook page a couple of months prior to the show. This tour is Eddie’s second go-round for the Force Majeure tour in the United States. We saw him perform this tour for the first time at the Beacon Theatre in New York City in January 2014.
I happened to be online at the time that the notice went up. I immediately went and bought two tickets. For the first time ever, I had front row center seats to a gig for $85 a seat. You cannot get anything out of the balcony in a New York City theater for $85.00. I saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Belasco Theater in New York City. We had last row seats for $66.00; front row Hedwig seats are $200 each. So to say I was pumped that we were able to afford these seats was an understatement.
Although we were close enough to get a good picture of him up close, I tried. All I got was an image of Eddie in a suit and heeled boots, his face awash in light. You could not make out any of his facial features at all. That was quite a disappointment, although the purplish lighting made for some very interesting color changes in my dress. My toenail polish should be coral and the pinks in my dress are actually yellow.
Look, I could try and share some of the funnier moments with you. But I highly recommend that you go watch some clips. Some of my favorite punch lines and stories in the show include “Et voilà!”, a man trying to perform a burglary on a horse using dressage, Marc Antony as an urban planner with the imagined voice of a chicken, and Mr. Stevens breaking up a fight between God and Darth Vader in the Death Star Canteen with a wet tray stapled to his hand (homage to the Death Star Canteen clip that I shared above with you).
Eddie Izzard brings diverse elements to his comedy routine: religion, God and Jesus; his atheism; European, American, and English history; his experiences as a transgender person (although he previously used to call himself a transvestite); as well as every day things. He can bring the most absurd elements together and weave them into a story. Izzard makes noises and poses and dances and wriggles on the stage as he weaves his funny tales. He often refers back to earlier jokes whether they were just said or from prior tours.
During his Stripped tour, he talked about animals and religion in different ways throughout the show until they all ended up on Noah’s Ark for the final sketch. Izzard does this with each and every tour. He excels at creating different characters who then have a conversation with each other. No comedian would be good unless they brought a bit of physical humor to their show, and Izzard is no exception. At one point, he mimed moles digging a tunnel and kept it going to see how long people would keep laughing. He stops and mimes writing on his hand when the audience doesn’t laugh or laughs in weird places. All of this just goes into that brain of his. He tweaks his tours as he goes along to gauge audience reactions and build up the best set he can.
Eddie Izzard is one of my favorite comedians of all time. I highly recommend you check him out. Youtube.com is a great place to start.