If what aging skeletal gossip Cindy Adams recently reported in the New York Post is true, it’s not like we need any help, but Music City is about to get a little more sordid , Sordid Lives, that is. On Thursday, June 15, playwright Del Shores and a few cast members from the latest installment in his wickedly funny Sordid Lives saga, A Very Sordid Wedding, will descend upon Nashville for A Very Sordid Happy Hour meet and greet at Canvas Lounge, then, on Friday, June 16, Nashville’s oldest continuing movie house, The Belcourt Theatre (2102 Belcourt Ave, Nashville, TN 37212) will host the Tennessee premiere of Shores‘ long-awaited big-screen sequel A Very Sordid Wedding, based on characters from Sordid Lives, his popular 2000 indie film that has gone on to become a bonafide cult classic, especially in the LGBTQ community. Following opening night, The Belcourt will continue the fun with subsequent screenings through Thursday, June 22.
Friday’s SOLD OUT 7:30 premiere will be followed by a Q&A session with Shores, Emerson Collins (BRAVO‘s The Peoples Couch) , his co-producer who also appears in the film, as well as Sordid Wedding stars Caroline Rhea (stand-up comedian, frequent game-show goddess aka Aunt Hilda from TV’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and singer/actor/Tony-Award-winner and Tennessee native, Levi Kreis.
Shores’ 20-year sordid journey began back in May of 1996, when his now-iconic Sordid Lives, whose tagline is, ’a black comedy about white trash’, made its stage debut at Los Angeles’ Theatre/Theatre, following in the successful footsteps of his long-running hit Dady’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?. Then, in 2000, as he had done with Daddy’s Dyin’, Shores transformed the play into a film starring, among others, Delta Burke, Beth Grant, Leslie Jordan and Olivia Newton-John. 2008 saw the debut of Sordid Live: The Series on MTV’s then-still-fledgling LGBT-centric LOGO TV network. That incarnation, a prequel of sorts, featured many of the stars from Shores’ original stage production, as well as a few recast, including Caroline Rhea and TV legend Rue McClanahan in what would be her last recurring series role.
Telling the tale of a young souther gay man and his loving but truly sordid family, including the aforementioned Chattanooga native, Leslie Jordan as his flamboyant institutionalize Uncle, Brother Boy who has a penchant for performing in drag as his favorite country queens including Tammy Wynette, Shores’ latest chapter in the Sordid Lives saga addresses hot-button issues like same-sex marriage and interracial relationships. As always, he tackles it all with guffaw-inducing humor and a healthy does of genuine heart.
Over the years, many in Nashville feel Shores and company have become adopted native son and daughters to the Volunteer state. Shores, Jordan, Collins, Rhea and others have made numerous appearances, including stand-up comedy shows all across Music City; a special preview screening of Sordid Lives: The Series that served as a fund-raiser for Nashville CARES, our local HIV/AIDS support organization; a week-long live theatre engagement of both Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies (another of Shores’ remarkable works) at TPAC; as well as limited engagement one-night-only shows at The Belcourt, and more.
Earlier this week, I had the chance to ask both Shores and Collins what it is about Nashville that keeps them coming back. Shores replied, “I’m thrilled to return to Nashville where I always feel a lot of Sordid love. I can’t wait to share A Very Sordid Wedding with another die-hard Southern audience. As always, I appreciate Nashville so much and the support they have given me for years!”
Collins mirrored Shores’ sentiment by adding, “Just as country queens Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton are an important part of Brother Boy‘s life, Nashville is a huge part of the success of all things Sordid and we are thrilled to be bringing A Very Sordid Wedding for a full week of screenings to The Belcourt! We’re excited to share the film and grateful for the support that has already sold out our opening night screening. We’re on our way!
In keeping with the familiarity fans have come to love about their Sordid actors, characters and Shores’ stable of talented friends, A Very Sordid Wedding features not only popular characters from the previous incarnations, but a bevy of cherished Sordid Lives/Southern Baptist Sissies actors in new roles, including Knoxville’s own Daley Dickey, who’s assumed the beloved role of Aunt Sissy and made it her own, as well as favorites Katherine Bailess (VH1’s Hit the Floor) and the return of Kirk Geiger as Ty Williamson. There’s also a sprinkling of pop culture notables, including Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony-winner Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Mapa (co-star of ABC Family/Freeform‘s Switched at Birth and just about every modern sitcom) and former Lucille Ball pal and frequent co-star, living TV legend, Miss Carole Cook.
Prior to Friday’s premiere and The Belcourt’s week-long screenings of A Very Sordid Wedding, fans and friends will have a chance to throw one back with Shores, and cast members Collins, Rhea and Kreis as Canvas Lounge (1707 Church Street) and local favorite drag performer Veronica Electronika host A Very Sordid Happy Hour Thursday, June 15 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday night’s meet and greet is a non-ticketed/free admission event, but keep in mind that Canvas is a 21+ establishment. Rumor has it Ms. Electronika may even perform a Sordid Lives-inspired number or two during the evening.
While Friday’s 7:30 p.m. premiere and Q&A are SOLD OUT, Shores and company plan to also stick around and intro the 10:30 p.m. screening. Click Here for tickets. As mentioned previously, The Belcourt will continue showing A Very Sordid Wedding with several screening throughout Thursday, June 22. Click Here for dates/showtimes and tickets.
Not in Nashville? Well, ‘Bless Your Heart’, but don’t fret none. Continuing their nation-wide screenings, A Very Sordid Wedding has upcoming dates and special events in Fort Worth, Lexington, Dayton, Tampa, Pensacola, Atlanta, Charlotte, Winston, Salt Lake City, Tyler, Kansas City with additional dates being added to the schedule constantly. Click Here for details or to purchase tickets.
If you’ve enjoyed this preview of A Very Sordid Wedding’s Nashville events, check back for my recap of the film and Q&A and be sure to like A Very Sordid Wedding on Facebook and follow Del Shores, Emerson Collins, Caroline Rhea, Levi Kreis and Brother Boy himself, Leslie Jordan on Twitter (just click their names to link to their respective Twitter accounts).