The Izzard King

J. Edgar Hoover was a "weirdo transvestite," but when Eddie Izzard puts on a dress, he's an "executive transvestite."

"I'm a male tomboy," says the British comedian, who cross-dresses both on- and offstage. "It's not a sexual thing. I just like wearing makeup and clothing, which is traditionally perceived in the West as female-only."

So says the star of the FX drama The Riches, who’s found time between shooting episodes of the show to don a cocktail dress or two and come to Scottsdale to workshop his latest solo show, Work in Progress, for a couple of nights.

It's been a good year for Izzard. In March, he was ranked third among the 100 Greatest Comedians by the BBC’s Channel 4. The Riches, in which Izzard co-stars with Minnie Driver, quickly became a hit. He replaced Jeremy Piven as the insane Schadenfreude in the upcoming CG-animated monster movie Igor, and his character will appear in a series of comic books based on the film. Somewhere in there, he's put together a script for a one-man show about, well, things that matter to Izzard: sex, politics, and the shocking physical similarities between Claus von Stauffenberg and Tom Cruise.

Sat., Aug. 18, 8 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela