convergence-continuum opens its 2013 Season with the Cleveland premiere of Sordid Lives a comedy by Del Shores.
When Peggy, a good Christian woman, hits her head on the sink and bleeds to death after tripping over her married lover's wooden legs in a motel room, chaos erupts in Winters, Texas. Some family members are afraid that all the family skeletons will come flying out of the closet at once as they gather to mourn the family's matriarch. Meanwhile, grandson Ty, much to the chagrin of Latrelle, his up-tight mother, is coming out of the closet in a different way. (Will he turn out like his uncle "Brother Boy," a gay transvestite who has been in a mental institution for over 20 years, entertaining fellow patients with his impersonation of Tammy Wynette while undergoing "dehomosexualization" therapy?) Then there's the gun-slinging revenge rampage of the peg-legged lothario's wronged wife Noleta - along with LaVonda, another of deceased's daughters. Throw in a remorseful bartender, his dim brother, town drunk Juanita, and a few other townsfolk, and you've got a hilariously clever, campy and often raunchy tale that doesn't shy away from serious themes such as bigotry, guilt, homosexuality, forgiveness and acceptance.
Sordid Lives is directed by convergence-continuum's Artistic Director, Clyde Simon, and features a dozen con-con company actors: Amy Bistok-Bunce, Lucy Bredeson-Smith, Liz Conway, Clint Elston, Elaine Feagler, Lauri Hammer, Zac Hudak, Marcia Mandell, Tyson Douglas Rand, Wes Shofner, Lisa Wiley and Jonathan Wilhelm.
Sordid Lives opens Friday, March 22 and runs at 8 p.m. Thu-Sat through April 20 at the Liminis, 2438 Scranton Rd., Cleveland, OH 44113 in the historic Tremont neighborhood. Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 for seniors and $10 for students. Reservations and information at www.convergence-continuum.org and 216-687-0074.
Del Shores (born in Winters, Texas in 1957) has written, directed and produced successfully for studio and independent film, network and cable television and regional and national touring theatre.
Shores' career took off with the play Daddy's Dyin' (Who's Got The Will?) in 1987, which ran two years, winning many Los Angeles theatre awards, including LA Weekly's Best Production and Best Writing. The play has subsequently been produced in over 2,500 theatres worldwide. A movie version of Daddy's Dyin' was released in 1990. Shores wrote the screenplay and executive produced the film.
Sordid Lives, his fourth play, opened in Los Angeles in 1996. In 1999, Shores wrote and directed the film version of Sordid Lives. Opening in only eight theatres across the country, the film took in nearly two million dollars in its limited release. The movie became a cult phenomenon through strong word of mouth allowing it to run in the theater for a year in both Dallas and Fort Lauderdale; it became the longest running film in the history of Palm Springs with a record ninety-six weeks. The movie won many festival awards including Best Film at the New York Independent Film & Video Festival, Atlanta Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, South Beach Film Festival, Memphis International Film Festival and the San Diego International Film Festival and racked up a total of thirteen "Audience Awards." In 2002 Twentieth Century Fox released the DVD/Video, which has now sold over 200,000 units.
His play Southern Baptist Sissies followed, and it enjoyed a ten-month sold-out run in Los Angeles in 2000, and received 20 Los Angeles theatre awards. In 2003, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife became Shores' most critically acclaimed play with 30 theatre award nominations and 21 wins. After a six-month sold-out run in Los Angeles, Shores won the prestigious Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle's Ted Schmitt Award for World Premiere of an Outstanding New Play. The Circle also awarded the play Best Production and Best Lead Performance to Beth Grant. In 2006, Shores revived three of his plays (Sordid Lives, Southern Baptist Sissies, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife) in Los Angeles before taking to the road for a successful six city national tour, starring Delta Burke and Leslie Jordan, which played in 1000-1700 seat houses.