US actress and stand-up comedienne Lily Tomlin will be performing as part of the 2011 Mardi Gras Festival.

Appearing at the Enmore Theatre on Friday, March 4, the award-winning and openly lesbian screen icon is part of a stellar season line-up planned for next year’s festival.

“Lily Tomlin is one of the world’s finest actresses and talented comediennes, and we couldn’t be happier to have her join us in Sydney for Mardi Gras 2011,” NMG CEO Michael Rolik said.

“Her charm, humour and open sexuality make her the perfect addition to our upcoming season.”

More in Lily Tomlin below

The 2011 New Mardi season, to be staged over two weeks in the lead-up to the March 5 parade and party, will boast more than 80 events.

As well as Tomlin, best-selling author of the Tales of the City series Armistead Maupin and gay activist Peter Tatchell will head to the city for festival.

Spend a night with at the Sydney Opera House as he discusses his work, or enjoy the theatrical genius of gender bender Taylor Mac with his show The Ziggy Stardust Meets Tiny Tim Songbook.

Courageous activist Peter Tatchell returns to Australia to share his passionate views about same-sex marriage as debate and discussion day Queer Thinking returns to the Seymour Centre.

Click HERE to read Peter Tatchell’s thoughts on gay marriage in Australia.

Australian legends Reg Livermore and Nancye Hayes take to the stage with pantomime madness in Turns, and the all-star, all-singing Hats’ Off returns for another sell-out year to raise money for HIV/AIDS charities.

The diverse 2011 program also includes our first ever Harbour Cruise, the Mardi Gras Film Festival (which recently won Best Australian Film Festival at the if Awards) and everyone’s favourite day in the sun Fair Day – which is set to see 70,000 people descend on Victoria Park.

The season will also be packed with parties. Get wet and wild with the return of the Pool Party at Ivy Pool Club, or look out over iconic Bondi Beach with the first ever Beach Party, hosted by Tora Hymen at Cream Tangerine.

Get ready for spectacular views at the first ever Top party at Sydney Tower (Centrepoint).

Watch hilarious drag kings and queens battle it out in the sand for the ultimate crown at the Bondi Beach Drag Races, or let loose under the Big Top as Toybox returns at Luna Park as the official recovery party.

And don’t forget some of your favourites like the spectacular Harbour ’11 at the Botanic Gardens, one of the most famous parties in the gay world and this year with the added excitement of a co-production with Johan Khoury, the man behind the Daywash parties.

Biggest of the lot is Mardi Gras Party, one of the world’s most celebrated dance parties. Last year’s Party saw secret performances from George Michael, Kelly Rowland and Adam Lambert, with DJs David Guetta and Carl Cox on the decks.

Speculation is already rife about who will perform next year – with Ke$ha, Robyn, Lionel Richie and the Presets all in town at the time.

info: All events are now on sale, and more information is available from the Mardi Gras website www.mardigras.org.au

About Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin’s performances span five decades and her wit is as sharp as ever. Over her extraordinary career she has been awarded six Emmys, two Tony Awards, a Grammy, a New York Film Critic Award, National Society of Film Critics Award and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Her numerous stand-up specials have been broadcast internationally and she’s appeared in almost every iconic comedy show from Saturday Night Live to Will & Grace.

As an actress she’s been nominated for an Oscar and received a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award – having appeared in films such as Nashville, Nine To Five, Shortcuts and I Heart Huckabees.

With her television credits Tomlin has appeared in over 50 titles, and is a household name around the world.

Known for her hilarious characters, Lily Tomlin was one of the first female stars to appear in male drag as part of her comedy show in the 1970s. She broke gender cross-dressing stereotypes with characters that wore suits and often had facial hair.

Tomlin is also openly lesbian, and has been with her partner Jane Wagner since 1971.

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