Tomlin & Wagner to Produce MY TRIP DOWN THE PINK CARPET Off-Broadway
Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner will help make Times Square a little pinker - and all of New York City, in fact - when they present actor Leslie Jordan in his acclaimed solo show, My Trip Down The Pink Carpet, at the Midtown Theater (163 West 46th Street) this Spring. Producer Bruce RoBert Harris announced that performances will begin on Wednesday, April 14, with an official opening night set for Monday evening, April 19. David Galligan directs the 12-week limited engagement.
Tony Award-winner Lily Tomlin and her longtime collaborator, writer/director Jane Wagner have joined the producing team that includes Harris, Jack W. Batman, Dennis Grimaldi, Jean McFaddin-Susan Falk and Daniel Wallace.
"I have seldom spent time working with anyone who so engaged me," said Lily Tomlin. "What a storyteller! Completely open and honest, witty, charming, outrageously funny and filled with humor about himself and about navigating this life we all share."
Jane Wagner agreed: "Lily and I saw one of the early showcases of My Trip Down The Pink Carpet and knew at once that we were seeing a performance that we wanted to be a part of in any way possible. We felt it was a one man revelation that everyone should see. Leslie takes us on a rollicking, life-affirming trip down the shocking pink carpet of his wonderfully crazy life. The carpet is wall to wall laughs about the human condition and the little carbon footprints Leslie makes within it. His struggles with sexual identity prejudice and self doubt will resonate with anyone who has a heart and a funny bone."
Jordan, that small man and giant scene stealer, and one of the funniest men in America, has created an outrageous tell-all that weaves together a hilarious collection of true life stories (which are also the basis for his popular memoir, My Trip Down The Pink Carpet, recently published by Simon & Schuster). He is known on sight for his wildly popular recurring role as Karen's nemesis, Beverley Leslie, on "Will & Grace" (for which he won the 2006 Emmy Award), as well as his memorable appearances on "Ally McBeal," "Boston Public," "Monk," and "Murphy Brown," and his acclaimed role on the cult classic, "Sordid Lives."
A theatrical romp - from small-town USA to the pink carpet of Hollywood - My Trip Down The Pink Carpet tells the unlikely tale of one of America's true gay icons. Raised in a conservative family in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Leslie - who describes himself as "the gayest man I know" - boarded a Greyhound bus bound for L.A. with $1,200 sewn into his underpants and never looked back. His pocket-sized physique and inescapable talent for high camp paved the way to a lucrative and varied career in commercials and on television. Along the way he immersed himself in writing for the stage, and his one-man testimonials have become cult hits. But with success came dangerous temptations that threatened his career and life.
Filled with comically overwrought childhood agonies, offbeat observations, and revealing celebrity encounters - from Boy George to George Clooney - My Trip Down The Pink Carpet delivers a laugh-out-loud take on Hollywood, fame, addiction, gay culture, and learning to love oneself.
The creative team for My Trip Down The Pink Carpet includes Michael Hotopp (scenic consultant), Jesse Belsky, (lighting design), Wallace Flores (sound design) and Andrea Wales (production stage manager). Presenting sponsor of the show is Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
Performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday - Saturday at 9 p.m. & Sunday at 6 p.m. Tickets are $55 General Seating and $79.50 Premium Seating and are now on sale at Theatermania.com (212) 352-3101.
Leslie Jordan stepped off a Greyhound bus in 1982 from the hills of Tennessee, said "hello" to Hollywood and has never looked back. With hundreds of television shows, films and commercials to his credit, he has become a familiar face on the entertainment scene. Leslie is the 2006 Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his delicious portrayal of "Beverley Leslie" on "Will and Grace."
Feature film audiences will recognize Leslie from his performance as "Brother Boy" in Del Shores' adaptation of his play Sordid Lives with Olivia Newton-John, Delta Burke and Beau Bridges. He reprises the role in the television series based on the play and film for the cable network Logo. Recent feature film appearances include "Love Ranch" in a wonderful scene with Helen Mirren directed by Taylor Hackford, and "Wanted: Undead or Alive" with Chris Kattan. Television audiences will remember Leslie in recurring roles on "Ugly Betty," "Boston Legal," "Hidden Palms," and "Reba."
On stage, Mr. Jordan won the Ovation Award, The Garland Award and The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his portrayal of "Preston Leroy," the aging, sodden barfly in Del Shores hit play Southern Baptist Sissies.
Leslie's autobiographical one-man show Like a Dog on Linoleum performed to sold-out audiences at the Elephant Asylum Theater in Los Angeles, the Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs, the Bailiwick Theater in Chicago, the 14th Street Playhouse in Atlanta, and the Lorraine Hansberry Theater in San Francisco.
Mr. Jordan has also enjoyed considerable success as a writer. His play Hysterical Blindness and Other Southern Tragedies That Have Plagued My Life Thus Far ran to sold-out houses in Los Angeles and had a successful seven-month run Off-Broadway at The Playhouse on Van Dam in New York City. His screenplay "Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel" won the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival's Production Grant Award, winning the competition over 600 other scripts. Subsequently, it was made into an independent feature film distributed by Northern Arts Entertainment.
David Galligan most recently directed Carole Cook's one-woman show Dress Up at the New Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, as well as Falsettos for The Actors' Fund and Like a Dog on Linoleum, written and performed by Leslie Jordan, which has played to standing room only audiences in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Other recent work includes Always...Patsy Cline with Sally Struthers and Rod McKuen in Concert at New York's Carnegie Hall. His direction of the musical revue Blame It On the Movies played Off-Broadway at the Criterion and he repeated the staging for a Pasadena Playhouse main-stage production. Other Pasadena Playhouse productions include Lettice and Lovage, Alone Together with Nancy Dussault, and The Lion in Winter with Carole Cook and Tom Troupe. Other Los Angeles productions include The Gay 90s Musical (Celebration), Blame It On the Movies II, Cabaret (East West Players), Angry Housewives (Odyssey), A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening, Fortune and Men's Eyes, Slings and Eros, Filumena (Court Theatre), Trouble in Tahiti (Skylight), Triplets in Uniform, Jesus Christ Superstar (La Mirada), Falsettos, Gifts of the Maji (Coast) and Lullaby of Broadway (Tiffany Theatre). For the past 24 years he has directed and co-produced the annual S.T.A.G.E. fund raisers for AIDS charities, saluting the theatre music of noted composers and lyricists. He has also helmed all of the S.T.A.G.E. Too benefits for The Actors' Fund of America - Kurt Weill: The Centennial, Tap Your Troubles Away: The Words and Music of Jerry Herman, The Richard Rodgers Centennial - Something Wonderful, Sing Happy, The Words and Music of Kander and Ebb, The Best is Yet to Come - The Music of Cy Coleman, Hooray For Love - A Celebration of the Music of Harold Arlen, Everything's Coming Up Roses: The Jule Styne Centennial and Falsettos. Galligan co-produced the Actors' Fund recordings "Tap Your Troubles Away: The Words and Music of Jerry Herman" and "Kurt Weill: The Centennial," as well as Dale Kristien's first solo recording - "Beauty of Broadway" and Pamela Myers' debut CD "The Chance to Sing." Among his other recent credits, the original musical Vampire Virgins from Venus and the writing and staging of Valarie Pettiford's new one woman show Finding My Voice. He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Stage Alliance's Los Angeles Stage Alliance's Ovation Career Achievement Award for 2005.
Bruce RoBert Harris is dedicated to producing new, innovative and cutting-Edge Theater and special events. He worked on Little Women, The Musical on Broadway and the pre-Broadway engagement of the new comedy Paper Doll. His production of the comic thriller, Bag Fulla Money, played a limited engagement in New York City. He is founding producer of GAYFEST NYC, a festival of new LGBT plays presented Off-Broadway each spring with producing partner Jack W. Batman, benefiting the Harvey Milk High School. Harris was Associate Producer of the innovative theatre piece about empowerment and human potential, History of the Word. In June 2005, he produced the Off-Broadway production of Charles Messina's The Great Divide, and with co-producer Douglas Leland, produced Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy, Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band, Terrence McNally's The Ritz and Love! Valour! Compassion!, Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey, Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly and the first New York City revival of William Finn and James Lapine's A New Brain. For five years he produced The Elan Awards, showcasing developing choreographers while honoring well-known figures in the dance world. Honorees included Graciella Danielle, Jerry Mitchell, Ann Reinking, Lar Lubovitch, Rob Marshall and Susan Stroman. In November 2001, Mr. Harris co-produced a three-play showcase series to benefit the Fireman's 911 Relief Funds. That series included a new production of The Odd Couple (female version) by Neil Simon, a revival of their summer hit, Jeffrey (with a cast of 29) and a re-staged production of Love! Valour! Compassion! Mr. Harris also single handedly produced a star-studded gala performance of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens directed by Bill Russell to benefit the Momentum AIDS Project, and co-produced its widely-successful first American album. Mr. Harris holds a BFA from The Juilliard School of Music and for three years was Associate Producer at the White Plains Performing Arts Center. He is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute.