Eddie Izzard wears his comedy well

Don’t freak out about this: Eddie Izzard will not be wearing a dress when his “Stripped” comedy tour hits the Orpheum Theatre this week.

It certainly is a shift for the savage Brit, known for wearing full-length gowns on stage, but Izzard isn’t that fazed by it.

“I am no longer wearing a dress, but it’s not that I am no longer dressing up,” he explains. “I can wear whatever I want to, whenever I want to, and I am choosing at the moment not to be wearing a dress.”

Fair enough.

“I am a straight transvestite,” he adds. “I am a proud, card-carrying transvestite. If there was a card to carry, I would have it, but the straight transvestite sexuality is a very confusing one. It confused the hell out of me, so it must confuse the hell out of everyone else.”

Well, maybe not so much. Izzard is embraceable — with or without the dress.

After storming onto the American scene earlier this decade, he developed a cult following for his brazen humor. His comedy shows often became cultural events and his ability to cross social boundaries became his trademark.

Last year, the performer added executive producer and actor into his creative queue with the debut of the TV show “The Riches,” co-starring Minnie Driver.

Beyond these creative offerings, though, Izzard aggressively works to”give back,” something that found him doing a buzz-generating Hurricane Katrina benefit comedy show in New Orleans last month.

“Everybody still wants to help,” he says of the city. “We were the first TV series to go in and film after Katrina hit and were pleased to be able to go in and put some money back in. But this administration certainly dropped the ball and I saw other people in there helping, and I thought, ‘Can’t we get back in there [on a comedy tour] and do something?’”

All of the proceeds from Izzard’s sold-out performance at Tulane University were distributed to Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans.

“I just wanted to do it,” he says. “I said, ‘By hook or by crook, I am going to perform there, even if I have to do a street show!’”

IF YOU GO

Eddie Izzard ‘Stripped’

Where: Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St., San Francisco

When: 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday

Tickets: $45 to $78

Contact: (415) 551-2000 or www.ticketmaster.com

artsentertainmentOther Arts

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