EP. 3 Jonathan & Sergey Talk with Del Shores & Producer Emerson Collins about “A Very Sordid Wedding”
Del Shores – Writer/Director/Producer Del Shores has written, directed and produced successfully across studio and independent film, network and cable television and regional and national touring theatre. Shores’ career began with the play Daddy’s Dyin’ (Who’s Got The Will?) in 1987. The play has been produced in over 2,500 theatres worldwide. A movie version was released in 1990 starring Beau Bridges, Tess Harper, Judge Reinhold, Keith Carradine and Beverly D’Angelo. Shores wrote the screenplay and executive produced the film.
Sordid Lives the play opened in 1996, and in 1999 Shores wrote and directed the film version starring Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan and Beth Grant. The film took in nearly two million dollars in its eight theatre limited release and became the longest running film in the history of Palm Springs with a record ninety-six weeks. The movie won six Best Feature and thirteen Audience Awards at film festivals. The DVD has now sold over 300,000 units and the 2014 re-release recently became a top-seller for Wolfe Video.
His play Southern Baptist Sissies followed, with a ten-month, sold-out run in 2000 and 2002. Shores received multiple Best Direction and Best Writing awards, and the play won the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Production of the Year. In 2003, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle’s Ted Schmitt Award for Best World Premiere of an Outstanding New Play and five Back Stage West Garland Awards, two NAACP Awards, an LA Stage Alliance Ovation and three LA Weekly Awards. In 2006, Shores revived Sordid Lives, Southern Baptist Sissies and The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife in Los Angeles before a successful six city national tour, starring Delta Burke and Leslie Jordan, which played in 1000-1700 seat houses.
Sordid Lives: The Series premiered on Viacom’s LOGO network in 2008 starring Olivia Newton-John, Rue McClanahan, Leslie Jordan, Bonnie Bedelia and Caroline Rhea. Shores created, wrote, directed and executive produced all twelve episodes. The series was distributed internationally in syndication in seventeen countries. Shores has written and produced in television including Dharma and Greg and Queer as Folk. He also wrote, directed and produced the Showtime movie The Wilde Girls.
In 2010, Shores’ newest play Yellow opened winning various Los Angeles theatre awards including Best World Premiere, Best Production, Best Direction for Del Shores himself (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, Backstage Garland, LA Weekly, Broadway World.) In 2011, Shores wrote, directed and produced the screen adaptation of his play The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife entitled Blues For Willadean with the entire original stage cast: Beth Grant, Octavia Spencer, Dale Dickey, David Steen and Debby Holiday.
In 2013, Shores directed and produced the film adaptation of his play Southern Baptist Sissies, which played 29 film festivals, winning 15 awards including one for Best Screenplay and nine Audience Awards. The film opened theatrically in twelve cities and is available on Amazon, iTunes and DVD released by Breaking Glass Pictures. Shores has played over 150 cities with his three one-man shows Del Shores: My Sordid Life, Del Shores: Sordid Confessions, both available on DVD, and Del Shores: Naked.Sordid.Reality.
Emerson Collins – Producer/“Billy Joe Dobson” Emerson Collins is an actor, producer and TV personality. Emerson starred for four seasons on BRAVO’s The People’s Couch. He produced and starred in Southern Baptist Sissies and won Best Actor in a Feature Film from the Red Dirt International Film Festival. In 2015, Emerson starred in the regional theatre premiere of the one-man show “Buyer & Cellar” in Palm Springs, winning the Desert Theatre League Award for Best Actor in a Comedy. He reprised the role with the acclaimed Laguna Beach Playhouse in 2016. With Del Shores, Emerson co-hosted “The Del & Emerson Show,” UBN Radio’s number one podcast for two years. Emerson co-produced Sordid Lives: The Series for LOGO and produced the New York City, Los Angeles and Palm Springs premieres of the series in conjunction with The Trevor Project, Cinema Diverse and Outfest.
Emerson produced Blues For Willadean, the independent film adaptation of the NAACP award-winning play The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife starring Beth Grant, Dale Dickey and Octavia Spencer. The film won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Birmingham SHOUT Film Festival. Emerson joined Del Shores Productions as Vice-President of Development and began as a producer on the revivals three plays running in repertory as A Season of Shores. At the end of the successful eight-month run, he produced the national tour of Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies. In 2010, Emerson also produced the world premiere production of Del Shores’ Yellow, selected as Critic’s Choice by the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly and Backstage and winner of the LA Drama Critic’s Circle Award for Best Production. Emerson also directed and produced the DVD live tapings of Del Shores’ one man shows Del Shores: My Sordid Life, Del Shores: Sordid Confessions and Del Shores: Naked. Sordid. Reality.
Beard Collins Shores Productions Beard Collins Shores Productions was founded in 2012 by Del Shores, Emerson Collins and Louise H. Beard with a dedicated focus on producing low and ultra-low budget films with a direct route to profitability. The company’s first film project was the hybrid film of Del Shores’ GLAAD Award-winning play Southern Baptist Sissies. The film was crowdsource-financed, raising $140,000 with Indiegogo. Southern Baptist Sissies played 28 film festivals, winning 15 awards including nine Audience Awards. It was released theatrically in independent theaters in twelve cities including Palm Springs, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Phoenix, Detroit, Portland and Los Angeles. The film is now a top-selling DVD for Breaking Glass Pictures and available for streaming and download from Amazon and iTunes.
A Very Sordid Wedding Theatrical World Premiere Sequel to Del Shores’ Hit Play, Movie & TV Series Sordid Lives Reunites All-Star Cast of Iconic Characters to Explore the Acceptance, Conflict and Bigotry Following the Supreme Court Marriage Equality Decision
Two-Week Exclusive Engagement Starts March 10, 2017, at Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, Calif., expanding via The Film Collaborative to Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale and other cities/dates to be announced
Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, Rue McClanahan (portrait), Dale Dickey and Ann Walker in Del Shores’ A Very Sordid Wedding. Photo credit: Steven K. Johnson.
Palm Springs, Calif. – Award-winning writer/director Del Shores (“Blues For Willadean,” “Southern Baptist Sissies,” “Queer A Folk”) releases his latest film, A Very Sordid Wedding, the outrageously funny sequel to his play, movie and TV series Sordid Lives. The film brings back an all-star ensemble cast of characters, rooted in the Southern Baptist world of Winters, Texas, in the weeks following the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage equality ruling where not everyone there is ready to accept it. On March 10, 2017, the film will make its World Premiere and have an exclusive two-week theatrical release at Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, where the original film ran for 96 weeks. It will be followed by a national limited theatrical run by The Film Collaborative, expanding to Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale and other cities and dates to be announced. For ticket information and further updates on the film’s theatrical release, visit http://www.averysordidwedding.com/.
The ensemble cast of 32 actors is led by Bonnie Bedelia (“Parenthood”), Caroline Rhea (“Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”), Dale Dickey (Independent Spirit Award winner “Winter’s Bone”), Leslie Jordan (Emmy winner “Will & Grace”) with cast members from the original Sordid Lives film Newell Alexander (“August: Osage County”), Rosemary Alexander, Kirk Geiger, Sarah Hunley, Lorna Scott (“Wanted”) and Ann Walker. New additions to the Sordid Lives world include Emerson Collins (“The People’s Couch”), Levi Kreis (Tony winner “Million
Dollar Quartet”), Carole Cook (“Sixteen Candles”), Alec Mapa (“Ugly Betty”), Aleks Paunovic (“Van Helsing”), Katherine Bailess (“Hit The Floor”) and a cameo from Whoopi Goldberg.
Sordid Lives, Del Shores’ fourth play, opened in Los Angeles in 1996, and ran for 13 sold-out months. It received 13 “Critic’s Choice” honors and 14 Drama-Logue Theatre Awards. In 1999, Shores wrote and directed the film adaption of Sordid Lives starring Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan and Beth Grant, along with most of the cast from the play. The movie became a cult phenomenon taking in nearly $2 million in its eighttheatre limited release. The movie won six Best Feature and 13 Audience Awards at film festivals. In 2002, Twentieth Century Fox released the DVD/Video, which has now sold over 300,000 units. The film was re-released by Wolfe Video in 2014. Sordid Lives: The Series, a 12episode TV series prequel to the Sordid Lives film, premiered on MTV’s LOGO network in 2008. “Not a day goes by where someone doesn’t write me asking me for more Sordid Lives. So many of my LGBTQ fans, of all ages, have come out to their folks by showing them Sordid Lives because the humor helped them share their own story,” explains writer, director and producer Del Shores. “I am excited to bring my characters up to July 2015 where they are hit with the reality of Texas having full equality. I wanted to contrast affirming churches and organizations like Faith In America with the hypocritical bigotry that is still being spewed from pulpits represented by the ‘Anti-Equality Rally’ in the film.”
“With the victory of marriage equality and the resulting backlash disguised as ‘religious freedom’ bills, our film exploring the impact of religious bigotry couldn’t come at a more timely moment in our history,” continues producer and star Emerson Collins. “Hard-fought LGBTQ rights won over the past eight years now hang in the balance with the new presidential administration and conservative state legislatures across the country preparing to target the LGBTQ community.”
As the original film dealt with coming out in a conservative Southern world, A Very Sordid Wedding explores the questions, bigotry and the fallout of what happens when gay marriage comes to communities and families that are not quite ready to accept it. Bigoted “religious freedom,” marriage equality and cultural acceptance are all explored with Del Shores’ trademark approach to using comedy and his much beloved Sordid Lives characters to deal with these important current social issues and the very real process of accepting your family for who they are instead of who you want them to be.
Synopsis: A VERY SORDID WEDDING It’s 2015, seventeen years after Peggy tripped over G.W.’s wooden legs and died in Sordid Lives, and life has moved into the present for the residents of Winters, Texas. Sissy Hickey (Dale Dickey) is reading the Bible, cover to cover, trying to make some kind of sense out of what it really says about gay people. Her niece Latrelle Williamson (Bonnie Bedelia) has divorced her husband Wilson (Michael MacRae) who has taken up with a hot young gold digger. Latrelle’s now out and proud gay son Ty (Kirk Geiger) is on his way back to town with his black man and news of their own. Her sister LaVonda (Ann Walker) is still cussin’ and drankin’ and is being blackmailed to sit with the sick and afflicted. LaVonda’s best friend Noleta (Caroline Rhea) meets a hot younger man while visiting her awful mama in the hospital. G.W. (David Steen), sporting new fiberglass legs after Noleta burned his old ones, is still feeling guilty and mourning Peggy. Nearly incoherent barfly Juanita (Sarah Hunley) has moved from her obsession with Vacation Bible School roosters to the royal family while Wardell (Newell Alexander) and Odell (David Cowgill) still bicker at the bar. Tammy Wynette champion Brother Boy (Leslie Jordan) hasn’t been back to Winters since Peggy’s funeral, and he’s working at a tragic little gay bar in Longview, having added Loretta and Dolly to his new medley act “We Three Queens of Oper-y Are” till a chance meeting with a dangerous criminal forces him out on the run. As the sordid saga continues, an anniversary memorial service is being planned in honor of Peggy at Bubba’s Bar while the Southside Baptist Church is planning an “Anti-Equality Rally” to protest the advancement of same-sex marriage, spearheaded by Vera Lisso (Lorna Scott) and Mrs. Barnes (Sharon Garrison). Both events are to take place on the same night, so the cast of colorful characters are all on a collision course for shenanigans and fireworks, and a surprise wedding!
Credits Beard Collins Shores Productions presents A VERY SORDID WEDDING In association with Buffalo Gal Pictures Supporting sponsor: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Written and directed by Del Shores Produced by Emerson Collins, Del Shores Executive Producers: Louise H. Beard, Phyllis Laing, Jeff Beesley, Camelot Theatres, Rozene & Ric Supple Co-Producers: Donna Mathewson, Anthony Gore, Stuart Howell Bell, Carl Foster Miller & Karl H. Christianson, Craig & Scott Caulfield-Seidner Director of Photography: Paul Suderman Production Designer: Chad Giesbrecht Editor: Donna Matthewson Costume Designer: Sandy Soke Music by Joe Patrick Ward Total running time: 109 minutes
Official Website: http://www.averysordidwedding.com/