Friday, August 17, 2012

Review- Lily Tomlin Has Her Audience in Stitches at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, Edmonds, Washington, October 1st, 2011

Lily Tomlin is a Hit at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, October 1st, 2011

Lily Tomlin, Edmonds Center for the Arts, Edmonds, WA, October 1st, 2011, Two Shows

By E. Joyce Glasgow,
Photo Credits/Copyrights: E. Joyce Glasgow,
Photos of Lily Tomlin, Tony Presenter, from the Red Carpet at the 2008 Tony Awards, Radio City Music Hall, New York City

Actor/Comedienne, Lily Tomlin had her audience in stitches during her recent one-woman show at the newly renovated Edmonds Center for the Arts, in Edmonds, WA. Tomlin combined casual live stand up, live characterizations and videos of some of her greatest female and male characters over her long and successful career, in a show which was charming and very funny. Now in her early 70's, she remains as youthful and vivacious as ever, with an amazingly supple body, which she utilized to great effect in physicalizing her characters. Her beloved Trudy, the bag lady from her award-winning, one-woman stage show and film, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, showed up several times to share her special, eccentric philosophical wisdom and there were visits by Ernestine, the phone operator and precocious child, Edith Anne. Other characters made brief appearances as well, as she seamlessly streamed from her Lily monologue through her characters, surprising the audience. Some of the videos, shown behind her on the stage, went far back to her Laugh In television days and Las Vegas shows. Tomlin has the uncanny ability to encapsulate and stretch universal, familiar archetypes into manifestations which are wild, kooky, imaginative and hysterically funny.
Tomlin was breathless at times, filled with animation and energy. On several occasions she forgot where she was in her script and apologized to the audience, sharing that this was the first time she had performed in three months. Her candor made the show even funnier. With only a bare stage, occupied by a table, chair, some water, a small set of stairs and a screen which came down as necessary for the videos, Tomlin enthralled the audience for the whole show, by her incredible dynamism. Her imaginative and original personal perspectives on life are priceless and not unlike her quirky character, Trudy.
She playfully poked a good-natured ribbing at the quiet, sleepy town of Edmonds, saying that she had worked her entire career so that she could finally come to the day when she would play Edmonds, WA. The crowd lapped it up.
At the end of the one-hour and a half show, she answered written questions submitted by the audience.
Lily Tomlin has a magical gift. She is smart, observant, endearing, resourceful and has perfect comic timing. She engages people as just one of the folks, feeling like a member of the family. People love her for her down to earth spirit and she had many warm, adoring fans in the audience who have obviously, from their knowing responses, been warmly following her career for years.
Lily Tomlin was the auspicious opening act on the Edmonds Center for the Arts calendar for 2011-2012. Upcoming performances  in the 2012-2013 season, running from October, 2012 through May, 2013, will feature an eclectic variety of accomplished international performing artists including; Dianne Reeves, John McCutcheon, Natalie MacMaster, the Irish Rovers, the Moscow Boys' Choir, Ed Asner, Pilobolus, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Cirque Ziva, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Nancy Griffith, Ann Hampton Callaway and more. Travel guru, Rick Steves, who is based in Edmonds and runs a number of free travel programs at the center throughout the year, has generously donated one million dollars to the arts center, so, with that generous infusion of monetary support, we are sure to see the center grow and flourish with more incredible programs every year.

Below are you tube videos of one of Lily Tomlin's, most iconic, lovable, hilarious characters, "Ernestine" the telephone operator: