A Black Comedy about White Trash
What happens in a small Texas town when the matriarch of a family dies? “Sordid Lives” answers that question with a story of passion, acceptance, violence, and family.
Written by Del Shores in 1996, “Sordid Lives” retains the mid 90’s feeling in the stage props and costuming with a delightfully retro flair. There is a lot of big hair, indeed.
Peggy, the powerful female presence in the family loses her life in an unexpected way as she in on the path of self-discovery. This is the start of the story where family and neighbors come together to discover family secrets in the most hilarious ways. The family secrets are not that secret as we come to find out.
This is a fun, feel good story, but also intertwined is the story of Brother Boy, played by John Wade. This is Peggy’s son who has been away for some time. His eccentricities were too much for the family and the community to handle. John plays the part with subtlety we seldom see from the over the top performances we have come to expect from him, and he does it wonderfully. As you may have guessed, John plays a cross dresser and perhaps the black sheep of the family.
Added to that Ty Williamson, the gay grandson of Peggy, who has been in the closet, but the closet has a transparent door. This is a thread in the story with the deeper lessons of self-acceptance. Ty is played by Kyle James Johnson in a way that for me helped to cement the story together.
The rest of the cast play their roles in ways that by the end of the play you feel that you know the characters as family.
This production is wonderfully directed by Stacy Johnson and is Good Luck Macbeth’s Artown offering for this year. I recommend seeing “Sordid Lives” as part of your Artown experience this year. Check out the photos for a taste of what you’ll see.
Kristina Harris – Dr. Eve Bolinger
John Wade – Brother Boy
Kyle James Johnson – Ty Williamson
Phil Harriman – Wardell “Bubba” Owens
Kris Perry – Odell/Preacher
Nicholl Johnson-Donnelly. LaVonda Dupree
Marki Ho – Bitsy Mae Harling
Dirk Miller – G.W. Nethercott
Olivia Hansen – Juanita Bartlett
Kathy Welch – Sissy Hickey
Meredith Martin – Noleta Nethercott
Jacqueline Fisher – Latrelle Williamson
“Sordid Lives” plays through July 29 at Good Luck Macbeth Theater Company. For more information and showtimes check out GLM’s website: http://www.goodluckmacbeth.org/
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Dana Nollsch is a lifelong Reno area resident. He is a photographer, artist, journalist, and spiritual leader. His work has been seen in many local publications and many national publications as well, award winning for his photojournalism. Dana has a unique eye that shows in his photography and a unique voice that is evident in his writing. His involvement in the local theater and arts community gives him an informed and honest perspective. Owner and operator of PhotoZen he offers his skills and insight to many industries.