Jan
19
2010

Comedian Eddie Izzard visits United Center, leaves lipstick at home

[from the Depaulia]

It’s hard to imagine the Eddie Izzard that performed on Jan. 8 as the same magenta lipstick-wearing, English-accented transvestite comedian Izzard that took himself seriously and expected everyone else to follow suit. But for British cross-dressing joke factory Eddie Izzard, it a career.

The 47-year-old comedy veteran has ditched the women’s apparel as of late (even though he can rock stilettos as well as Kate Moss), but luckily refuses to give up his sharp-witted, intellectual sense of humor. Though the donning of a sequin gown may seem to be Izzard’s X factor, it is his comedic brilliance that has captured the attention of fans worldwide.

Sporting a tie and goatee, Izzard performed the first American stop of his international “Big Intimacy Tour: Stripped Too Friday” Friday Jan. 8 at a the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. He began the show before a crowd of roughly 6,000 loyal followers explaining that tonight he was going to assess the entire history of the world-with some large gaps.

The history is a characteristic theme of Izzard’s performances. His shows are synonymous with hilarious lessons in past world affairs paying close attention to where and why things went amusingly awry. These untraditional accounts of history are frequently interrupted by fictional skits where Izzard plays several characters from the past hysterically interacting in bold could-be scenarios.

In one crowd favorite Izzard plays a panting Roman messenger desperately failing to overcome the difficulties of the impossible Latin conjugations to warn of an oncoming attack. When asked how many soldiers were coming, the messengers response of “Um, X…VII, um, MC, uhh, VIIV…IX…um, V?” was met with a “Twelve?” Izzard devotees had the arena shaking with laughter.

Throughout the show, Izzard somehow seamlessly squeezed in quips about a jazz quartet of farmyard animals, early journalists hurriedly weaving celebrity gossip into tapestries, the bored and lonely human appendix and speechless giraffes playing charades in order to caution an approaching tiger.

The show was fast-paced and a shade below being too smart, if your attention drifted for even a second to readjust your coat, good luck in quickly catching back up. Though the show is seldom directly political, it doesn’t take much to identify Izzard as being undeniably left-leaning and socially progressive. Early in the show he doubts the existence of God and proclaims his trust in people, and in Wikipedia.

Eddie Izzard’s performance was enlightening, daring, intellectual, ambitious and, as any comic should be, funny. It takes quite a man to get a crowd roaring over a joke about ancient military commander Hannibal, but Mr. Izzard did. Four inch Jimmy Choos or not, Eddie Izzard succeeds.

Written by Momo in: Tour Reviews |

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