On Sunday, May 31, The Del Shores Foundation presents a YouTube and Facebook Live benefit reading of Del Shores' hit play Sordid Lives, featuring cast members from the play, the film, the LOGO TV series and the sequel. The participants include Newell Alexander, Rosemary Alexander, Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Emerson Collins, David Cowgill, Dale Dickey, Beth Grant, Debby Holiday, Leslie Jordan, Caroline Rhea, Del Shores, Allison Tolman, and Ann Walker; with appearances by Carson Kressley, Georgette Jones, Alec Mapa, Aleks Paunovic, and David Steen; plus a performance by Tony Award winner Levi Kreis and a message from Olivia Newton-John.
The event benefits 23 national theater companies that have been associated with Shores; in North Texas, there are three: Circle Theatre in Fort Worth, and Kitchen Dog Theater and Uptown Players in Dallas. Circle was one of the first theaters in the country to do the play Sordid Lives, in the late 1990s, with Leslie Jordan as Brother Boy — twice. Uptown was scheduled to produce A Very Sordid Wedding in August, but the group's season is on hold for now.
The event is 7 p.m. Central Standard Time on May 31.
Below is the complete press release:
The Del Shores Foundation presents a one-night-only benefit reading of the original Sordid Lives play by Del Shores for a #SordidLiveStream. The reading will be live streamed on YouTube and Facebook on Sunday, May 31 at 5 p.m. Pacific / 8.p.m Eastern, hosted and produced by Emerson Collins and Del Shores. The reading will star cast from the original 1996 play, the cult-hit 2000 film, LOGO’s 2008 Sordid Lives: The Series and the 2017 marriage equality-themed film sequel A Very Sordid Wedding. The free live stream reading and accompanying auction of Sordid Lives memorabilia is a benefit fundraiser for 23 three live theatre companies who are associated partners of the Del Shores Foundation and support its mission to find and facilitate the development of new southern queer artistic voices. All of the artists are donating their time and 100 percent of proceeds will go to the theatre companies. Donations to the benefit can be made at www.delshoresfoundation.org.
Sordid Lives is a black comedy about white trash as a gay actor struggles to come out to his eccentric, dysfunctional Texas family. When the family matriarch trips over the two wooden legs of her lover in a seedy motel room, her funeral brings three generations of the family back together in a story about learning to love the family you have as they are, not as you wish them to be.
The reading cast of Sordid Lives will feature (in alphabetical order): NEWELL ALEXANDER (“August: Osage County”), ROSEMARY ALEXANDER (“Sordid Lives”), BONNIE BEDELIA (“Designated Survivor,” “Parenthood,”), BEAU BRIDGES (“Homeland,” “Messiah”), EMERSON COLLINS (“RENT” on FOX, “The People’s Couch”), DALE DICKEY (“Unbelievable”, “Claws”), DAVID COWGILL (“Sordid Lives: The Series”), BETH GRANT (“Dollface,” “The Mindy Project”), DEBBY HOLIDAY (“Blues For Willadean”), LESLIE JORDAN (“Will & Grace,” “The Cool Kids”), CAROLINE RHEA (“Sydney To The Max,” “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch”), DEL SHORES (“Six Characters In Search Of A Play”) and ANN WALKER (“Sordid Lives.”)
There will also be live stream appearances by other celebrities from the Sordid Lives franchise including CARSON KRESSLEY (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), GEORGETTE JONES (“Sordid Lives: The Series), ALEC MAPA (“Ugly Betty,” “Doom Patrol”), ALEKS PAUNOVIC (“Van Helsing,” “War for the Planet of the Apes”), DAVID STEEN (“Django Unchained”), a performance by Tony winner LEVI KREIS (“Million Dollar Quartet”) and a special message from OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN.
SORDID LIVES HISTORY
At twenty-four years old, The SORDID LIVES franchise is one of the longest running LGBTQ franchises, and the cult-classic film celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. It began as a play in a sixty-four seat theatre named Theatre/Theater in Los Angeles in 1996. The play starred Leslie Jordan, Beth Grant, Rosemary Alexander, Newell Alexander and Ann Walker and ran thirteen sold-out months with thirteen Critic’s Choice Awards. The play has been produced by over 300 theatre companies nationwide. In 2000, the film adaption added Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Delta Burke and Olivia Newton-John and won many film festival awards with thirteen Audience Awards. The film became a cult-hit as it ran in limited release in theatres for almost three years before selling over 300,000 DVDs. In 2006, the play was revived in Los Angeles before launching a national tour. In 2008, the prequel “Sordid Lives: The Series” welcomed Caroline Rhea and Rue McClanahan and was released on LOGO and syndicated in seventeen countries. In 2017, the marriage-equality themed sequel reunited cast from the film and series in “A Very Sordid Wedding” with a cameo from Whoopi Goldberg and twelve out LGBTQ actors including Emerson Collins, Alec Mapa and Levi Kreis. It opened as number one at the limited release box office before playing more than 60 cities and is now streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
ABOUT THE DEL SHORES FOUNDATION
The Del Shores Foundation is a new 501c3 non-profit with a mission to find and facilitate the development of new southern queer artistic voices through bringing together artists and working professionals, amplifying new work and connecting artists to platforms for the creation of the work. The Board of Directors, Executive Director Del Shores and Program Director Emerson Collins decided to halt all fundraising and event planning efforts during the pandemic to support the fundraising efforts of those in need. Foundation events will resume in the future.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
DEL SHORES (Playwright/Director/Executive Producer) is the writer/director/producer of the films “Sordid Lives,” “Blues for Willadean,” “Southern Baptist Sissies” and “A Very Sordid Wedding.” He wrote and executive produced the MGM feature “Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got The Will?” He has written seven previous plays, all published by Samuel French, produced thousands of times worldwide with four adapted for the screen which have run collectively for over seven years in Los Angeles. Southern Baptist Sissies won the GLAAD Award, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife won the NAACP Theatre Award, and both Yellow and Trailer Trash won the LADCC Award for Best Original Play and Best Production. In television, Del wrote, directed, executive produced and created the LOGO series, “Sordid Lives: The Series.” He also wrote and executive produced on the last three seasons of Showtime's “Queer As Folk,” and wrote and produced for “Dharma & Greg” and “Ned & Stacey.” Shores has performed in hundreds of standup gigs in three national tours, all filmed for DVD. His new one-man play Six Characters In Search Of A Play has performed in 33 cities, seven film festivals and won three film festival awards and is now a film available on BroadwayHD. Lifetime Achievement Awards from FilmOut San Diego and LA Weekly.
EMERSON COLLINS (Executive Producer/Host) is an actor, producer and director best known for four seasons of BRAVO’s “The People’s Couch” and “RENT” on FOX. He produced and starred in the films “A Very Sordid Wedding” and “Southern Baptist Sissies,” winning Best Actor at the Red Dirt International Film Festival for Sissies. He produced and starred in the national tour of the play of Sissies and produced the national tour of Sordid Lives. Emerson won the Desert Theatre League Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for the regional premiere of the one-man show Buyer & Cellar. Collins co-produced and recurred in LOGO’s “Sordid Lives: The Series” and produced “Blues For Willadean.” He directed all three of Del Shores’ standup comedy DVD specials and directed Shores’ one-man play “Six Characters In Search Of a Play” on stage and for film where it won awards at three film festivals. He has produced countless variety show and event nights across the country. Emerson regularly appears nationally and internationally at film festivals and as a speaker on LGBTQ representation in film. www.emersoncollins.com
ABOUT THE SCHEDULE
SORDID LIVES will live stream Sunday, May 31 at 5 p.m. Pacific, 7 p.m. Central and 8 p.m. Eastern. The reading is free and reminders can be set for the livestream on YouTube here.
Facebook: This link will be availale Monday, May 25
For more information, donations and auction items, please visit www.delshoresfoundation.org