|Lily Tomlin to perform in Des Moines!|
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Lily Tomlin will be performing live at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moine on November 18, and her numerous characters will again take to the stage to entertain and interact with the audience on topics both timeless and timely.Lily Tomlin can, without hyperbole, be called one of America's most accomplished comediennes. She has performed on stage, television, and film—in both comic and dramatic roles—and has released four comedy albums. Probably her best-known film role was playing Violet in Nine to Five, alongside Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda. But with all of the characters she has played in a career that stretches back to the 1960, it is notable how some of the very first characters she created have stood the test of time.
The irascible "Ernestine" is probably the best example of this timeless aspect to her characters. Ernestine started on the TV show "Laugh In" as a fictitious operator for the telephone company, back when there was just a single telephone company. The character aptly summed up, in a comic way, all of the frustrating experiences people might have interacting with large, impersonal businesses—an experience that seems to have only become more frustrating more than four decades later. Fortunately for her fans, the character has been one of many who continue to be part of Tomlin's repertoire even today.
You're coming to Des Moines on November 18. You've performed in Iowa before?
Oh, god, yeah! I've performed there a couple of times, but not anytime recently. It's been quite a while I think. I have some friends who used to live in Des Moines—now they live in Minneapolis—but that was another reason to visit Des Moines.
Tell us about the show you're doing. Will your fans recognize the characters or is this a completely new performance?
They'll recognize characters, but there will be stuff they don't know coming out of the characters' mouths. There's lots of other stuff. I'll try to talk about Des Moines [laughs]. (I always laugh when some, you know, interloper comes from outside to talk about your town.) And I use multimedia, playing some clips satirically, make fun of myself, make fun of the characters' lives.
And you interact with the audience?
Oh, yeah, sure. Very informal. And if the house wants me to I do a Q&A at the end.
Do you have a favorite character that you play, either in your show or otherwise?
No. You know, I'm so lucky just to have a bunch of different characters who people can relate to if you talk about different issues in their voice. An actress envies anyone who has a vehicle where they can play a bunch of characters in one evening. I even had Helen Hayes say to me that she hadn't envied an actress in years, and she went to see "The Search" years ago in the 80s on Broadway. I know she didn't mean she envied me personally, she envied the notion that I could play twelve characters in one evening, and have them interact and interrelate. It's a fun thing to do as an actor.