Dame Edna, the imperious suburban Melbourne, Australia, hausfrau with the purple wig and lacerating tongue, has never seen any connection between winning friends and influencing people.
There's no shortage of acting in the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie." Accents are adorned like fake noses, illnesses resemble those found in 19th century operas and bits of melodramatic business might as well be underscored with the clashing of cymbals.
Barry Humphries sat at a table overlooking the pool of his Beverly Hills hotel and blew his nose. He had just arrived from his home in London and was suffering with a common cold — something it's hard to imagine ever getting the better of his imperious (and better known) alter ego, Dame...
Now that screen technology has overrun our lives, it makes sense that the Wooster Group would take a break from its multimedia revels and turn to the austere Shakers for inspiration.
"Silent Witnesses," a modest and compassionate solo work written and performed by Stephanie Satie at the Odyssey Theatre, is based on interviews and conversations with child survivors of the Holocaust.
In his most recent book, "The Meaning of Human Existence," Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson challenges the humanities to stop being in effect so darn man-crazy.
The year isn't exactly ending on a high note. Rage over racial injustice, shocking reports of U.S. torture and the promise of even more governmental gridlock in 2015.
Here is Charles McNulty's look at the best of 2014 in theater in Southern California and beyond.