‘Sordid’ cast brings variety to Shores franchise

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UPDATE: Snow cancels Friday night performance. Read More.

imageDel Shores and Jason Dottley, collaborators on the TV version of “Sordid Lives” as well as a real-life couple, could practically call Atlanta a second home. They return again this week with “A Sordid Affair.”

Dottley and Shores (top photo, l-r) were here in the summer of 2008 to promote the TV series, and came back twice last year as part of Shores’ touring show.

This go-round, they are joined by friends including Georgette Jones (second photo), the daughter of country-western stars Tammy Wynette and George Jones. She will sing as part of this variety-show take of sorts on the “Sordid Lives” franchise at 14th Street Playhouse on Friday, Saturday and two shows Sunday.

imageAlso joining them in “A Sordid Affair” are cast mates Ann Walker (“Aunt LaVonda,” third photo), Newell Alexander (“Wardell”), Rosemary Alexander (“Dr. Eve,” bottom photo), Emerson Collins (“Max”) and Sarah Hunley, who stars as Juanita.

Dottley is somewhat vague about what the new show is actually about.

“So many people have said they have bought tickets but weren’t sure of what they were seeing,” he says. “I think it’s more fun for people to not know what they are seeing. I like to call it ‘Sordid Vaudeville,’”

imageHe does say to expect some variety, and that in addition to the cast members, Shores will also perform some brand new material that is racy, raunchy and very “non PC.”

Shores last performed in Atlanta in the fall. He and Dottley promised that if the audience was at least 80 percent full, Dottley would show his dick. And he did, before the show started.

“I think it might have surprised a few people,” he says.

imageYet he is no stranger to nudity, having performed nude before, most notably in “Sordid Lives.” (The series DVD has his full frontal scene). Sadly, he doubts he will be naked this time.

“I don’t think that the 14th Street Playhouse allows for random nudity, but who knows?” he says. “I could get a whim and decide to streak onstage.”

Dottley and Shores have been a couple since 2003 and were married in 2008. The actor just celebrated a birthday – his 29th – and admits he is looking forward to turning 30, so that people can stop with comments about the 52-year-old Shores dating a twenty-something.

Growing up in Mississippi, Dottley first started coming to Atlanta a long time ago and in fact introduced Shores to the city.

“We came here and he fell in love with Atlanta,” Dottley says. “Atlanta is the New York of the South. It’s a big city but one where you can escape to. Gay men here understand the humor of the show. So many men here can relate to the characters. We have such a huge hub of fans here.”

The Logo channel’s cancellation of the TV series—adapted first into a 2000 cult film from Shores’ play—is still a sensitive spot for the pair.

“We are so wildly popular in other countries, all over the country, but we couldn’t get a second season on the gay network,” Dottley says.

According to him, the parties can’t even negotiate because residuals are owed to the cast and crew. “The show would be going on if greed and stupidity hadn’t joined the party.”

Nonetheless, Dottley has been busy producing the “Sordid” tour and has a thriving singing career. There is also talk of two “Sordid” films being made this summer with the original cast. Once those are done, he and Shores hope to make a film version of Shores’ play “Southern Baptist Sissies.”

“A Sordid Affair: An Evening of Sordid Laughter and Music” runs January 8 – 10 at the 14th Street Playhouse. Order tickets online or by calling the 14th Street box office at 404-733-4738.

We recommend ordering online. Project Q Atlanta readers get $5 off any ticket for any show (10 tickets max per customer) by entering the promo code “SORDID” when booking. See? We got your back.

imageJim Farmer is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and public relations professional specializing in film promotions. He is the director of the annual Out On Film, Atlanta’s gay and lesbian film festival, and has been a theater critic for more than a dozen years.

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