Austin Rainbow Theatre Presents SORDID LIVES This October

This hilarious romp is filled with southern charm and underscores what it means to be queer in Texas.

By: Aug. 31, 2023
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Austin Rainbow Theatre, Central Texas' new home for LGBTQIA+ theatre, presents their inaugural production of Del Shores' raucous Texas comedy Sordid Lives at Ground Floor Theatre October 6-14th. This production stars nationally-acclaimed drag entertainer and local celebrity Nadine Hughes as Brother Boy, a role previously made famous by the late Leslie Jordan. Written by trailblazing playwright & "master of Texas Comedy," Del Shores, this hilarious romp is filled with southern charm and underscores what it means to be queer in Texas.

After the sudden tawdry death of their matriarch Peggy, a colorful family in small town Texas is forced to come together. Chaos erupts at debate over the release of "Brother Boy", a Tammy Wynette impersonating drag queen, currently confined to a mental institution simply for being gay. Meanwhile, grandson Ty, a closeted West Hollywood actor, struggles with the decision to return home and face his dysfunctional family. As the funeral approaches all of the family's "sordid lives" are exposed and unconditional love is put to the Texan test!

"Though Sordid Lives is a side-splitting comedy," says ART's Executive Artistic Director Christopher Preslar, "it is at its core a heart-warming play about accepting our loved ones for who they are. In a time when LGBTQIA+ individuals are increasingly under attack in Texas, Sordid Lives is as relevant now as when it was first produced."

Winner of 14 DramaLogue awards, including Best Production, this play spurred the cult-classic film starring Olivia Newton-John ("Grease"), Delta Burke ("Designing Women''), and Leslie Jordan ("Will & Grace"), among others. The film garnered numerous awards including Best Feature award at the Austin LGBTQ+ Film Festivals and New York Independent Film Festival, as well as spawning a subsequent TV series and film sequel "A Very Sordid Wedding."

The cast of SORDID LIVES will feature Nadine Hughes as "Brother Boy", Nolan Muña as "Ty", Jane Newchurch as "Sissy", Maureen Slabaugh as "Latrelle", Christina Little-Manley as "Lavonda", Debbie Leopold as "Noleta", Scott Poppaw as "Wardell", Leslie Hethcox as "G.W.", Erin Kressler as "Dr. Eve", Naomi Payette as "Bitsy", CJ Legare as "Juanita", and Bryan Headrick as "Odell".

The creative team includes ART's Executive Artistic Director Christopher Preslar (Director), Lucinda Culver (Lighting Designer), Katie Birks-Kilman (Set Designer), and Michael Chappo (Stage Manager).

Tickets are available for purchase at $20 through ART's website at All performances will be held at Ground Floor Theatre.

Our Saturday 2 PM matinee performances will feature ASL interpreters for the hearing impaired community.

Austin Rainbow Theatre is the new home for LGBTQIA+ performing arts in Central Texas. ART's mission is to provide affordable theatre that focuses on creating belonging, reducing stigma, honoring diverse LGBTQIA+ history and stories, and amplifying LGBTQIA+ artist and community voices.

ART began its mission in 2021 with an exploratory production of The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project. This production was meant to gauge the necessity of an LGBTQIA+ theatre company and the response from the Central Texas community. After the outpouring of support from patrons, as well as the gratitude from members of the queer community, it was clear ART would be around for a long time!

Del Shores is a writer/director/producer/playwright with a body of work in both stage and film spanning 39 years. Many of the themes present in his writing spawn from his own upbringing in Texas, lending his work to explore the intersection of southern and gay culture through humor and empathy. He has written over ten plays, which have been produced all across the nation and worldwide. Many of which have gone on to be adapted for the screen including; Sordid Lives, Blues for Willadean, Southern Baptist Sissies, and A Very Sordid Wedding.

As a filmmaker he wrote and executive produced the MGM feature Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got The Will? In television, Del wrote, directed, executive produced and created the LOGO series, Sordid Lives: The Series. He also wrote and executive produced Showtime's groundbreaking Queer As Folk for the last three seasons, as well as wrote and produced for Dharma & Greg and Ned & Stacey.


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