A few years ago, a small, independent film came out in a limited run in U.S. theaters. It starred some big names like Olivia Newton-John, Beau Bridges and Delta Burke.
But it never achieved blockbuster status. That is, until its afterlife.
Sordid Lives has become a cult classic. LGBT audiences in particular embraced the quirky movie, billed as “a black comedy about white trash.”
Now Del Shores, the writer-director of that film, is bringing his stand-up comedy show, Naked. Sordid. Reality., to Oklahoma City for a one-night-only performance.
When it comes to the Sooner State, one of Shores’ favorite Oklahomans was Golden Girls actress Rue McClanahan, who starred in the Sordid Lives TV adaptation, which Shores developed himself. Airing for one season on Logo, it proved to be McClanahan’s final television role.
“Rue was amazing,” Shores said.
“She was twisted and Southern and such a kindred soul. When I offered her the role of Peggy, she said, ‘Oh, Del, I just love this character. I love playing a woman in love, and I didn’t think at my age I’d ever get to do that again.’ Then there was a perfect pause and she said, ‘It doesn’t pay anything, does it?’” Born and raised in rural Texas, Shores said he always looks forward to going back home and also visiting his neighbors to the north in Oklahoma.
“I’m openly gay and have a loud mouth,” he said. “When I go back to that part of the country, I admit I am treated differently. The ones who are still homophobic are a little scared of me. They use their Bible to hate me, and I use it right back at them. But my fans are amazingly sweet in both Texas and Oklahoma, and I feel a lot of love, and I give it right back.”
Known for his comedy and his down-home style, Shores also has a serious side — one he hopes will make a difference in the lives of young people. Bullied as a kid, he has become an activist in the “No Hate” movement.
“I was the kid called ‘Waddle- Butt,’” Shores said. “I was beat up on the playground and made fun of for being a sissy, so I get it. I tell kids, ‘Yes, it does get better.’ Write to me if you need to. Find a mentor; find someone who cares, because we are out there. We are in your town, your school. It could be me, or a teacher or friend you trust, or your mom.
“Don’t be alone. If you are in crisis, communicate and get some help.”
Visit okgazette.com for searchable listings of performing arts events in the metro area.