NY Mirror

The naughty, bawdy Barry Humphries plays Mrs. Crummles—you heard me—and told me he came up with the characterization by summoning "that type of provincial theater lady. Every small county has one." (In Jackson, it's Trent Lott.) Has anyone ever refused to come onstage with his other gal pal, Dame Edna? "No," said the sly puss, "no one says no to Dame Edna!"

Finally, I couldn't say nay to talking with adapter-director Doug McGrath, who's been up and down so many times I've gotten whiplash watching, though he seems way up again with this one. "But I never feel that up," McGrath told me, "because I think any minute they're gonna take it away!"

In other words, you could get gonged like '70s schlockmeister Chuck Barris—we're moving on to another premiere, folks—whose Confessions of a Dangerous Mind biopic even outdoes Auto Focus in its steamy, E!-style revelations. That one said sitcom star Bob Crane was a wild fuck machine, but this flick claims Barris was a fuck machine and a CIA killer. (Even more treacherously, he did The Gong Show.) Interestingly, Sam Rockwell, who plays the part, comes from the Derek Luke school of oral retention. Is the CIA stuff true? "I think so," he cutely told me at the premiere. Was Barris deeply cynical? "A little bit. I don't know," Rockwell stammered. Is that your butt in the film? "No," he said. "They got me an ass double!"

Meanwhile, Elaine May's Adult Entertainment has been flaunting its body parts with increased integrity. Last week, I wrote about how the show borrows liberally from cable queen Robin Byrd's persona, all in the name of satire. Well, with a little prompting from the Byrd, they've now agreed to give her credit in the program. How adult of Entertainment. Now everybody step the fuck back—my ass double's making a salad.


musto@villagevoice.com

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