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Carpenter Square Theatre revives its biggest hit, 'Sordid Lives,' and hosts playwright Del Shores' one-man show



Sordid Lives
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, through Nov. 6
Carpenter Square Theatre
Bricktown Hotel & Convention Center
2001 E. Reno

Del Shores: My Sordid Life
8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20
Angles Club
2117 N.W. 39th

Over the last three years, one of the most-asked questions of Carpenter Square Theatre has been "When will you stage 'Sordid Lives' again?" The 2007 production was one of the most successful in its history.

"It has been the No. 1 requested title to bring back," said director Rodney Brazil. "We wanted to do something fun and exciting with our fall show, and we decided it was time to give 'Sordid' another go."

Playwright Del Shores said he is "thrilled" that the play has become so popular, especially in "red states," considering the production explores homosexuality, cross-dressing and family life in a small, Baptist town.

"There are always those who are open-minded, and who embrace the core theme of 'Sordid,' which is acceptance and unconditional love for everybody," he said.

Brazil said the characters meet adversity with courage and comedy, which gives audiences a chance to laugh at situations they might not be able to in their own lives.

"Sordid Lives" debuted in 1996; a film version written and directed by Shores arrived in 2000. Eight years later, he produced a prequel series for the Logo network. "Sordid" has gained a cult following along the way.

"The audiences know the material, usually, so that just adds to the fun," Shores said. "It's sort of become the white-trash 'Rocky Horror.'"

The majority of the original CST cast will reprise their roles, including Pat Tweed, Brenda Williams, Elin Bhaird and Chris Castleberry.

"This is a very talented cast," Brazil said. "Years and years of acting experience walks onto that stage in every single scene."

To help celebrate the revival, Shores will attend the production. He also will perform his one-man show, "Del Shores: My Sordid Life," next Wednesday at Angles.

"It's not easy for the arts these days, and so for me to have the opportunity to come in and make this an event, really makes me happy," Shores said. "And if anybody can get a hold of Sally Kern, please tell her that I'd like to give her two tickets to my show!"

The one-man show is about his "crazy family" and their influence on his writing, he said. It includes some "celebrity dish," as well as a sermon he cut from another play, "Southern Baptist Sissies," he said.

After years of success in Los Angeles, Shores still feels a strong connection to the people who live in his home state of Texas.

"I feel a lot of love (there)," he said. "Also, I always get great material when I'm back in my home state, or anywhere in the South. Trust me, my ears will be listening in Oklahoma. Southerners just have a great sense of natural timing and humor ... and the stories! They tell you all their dirt!"


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