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BWW Reviews: LESLIE JORDAN: FRUIT FLY Soars into the Upper Altitudes of Laughter

Leslie Jordan: Fruit Fly/by Leslie Jordan/directed by David Galligan/Renberg Theatre/thru Dec. 21, 2014

The hysterically funny Leslie Jordan reprises his 2012 one-man show Fruit Fly, now aptly titled Leslie Jordan: Fruit Fly. A frequent Jordan collaborator, David Galligan directs this pint-sized dynamo in an 80-minute mostly funny, but sometimes poignantly heartfelt walk down the Jordan Family's memory lane. The always reliable Galligan's the ideal performer GPS. Galligan programs the intended destination (the right audience's emotional buttons to push) with the flexibility of alternating routes to get there.

Jordan not only describes specific memorable scenes of this childhood in Tennessee, but vividly acts out his own, his family members and others' parts in these sequences. The visual aids of his family photos add much authenticity, laughs and heartstring tugs, complemented by the perfect narrator, Jordan himself. The only child, at least until he was six, Jordan lovingly recalls the many good (and some not so) times with his mom Peggy Ann and father, a lieutenant colonel in the US Army. As a little boy tagging along with his mom to her hairdresser, Jordan discovers his affinity to some of the more flamboyant salon folk there. As he loves quoting one particularly interesting patron, "I'm going to a big party tonight. I don't want my hair teased, I want it terrified!" Jordan's the one everyone would pick to be the head storyteller in a campfire setting. Jordan's so smooth with his stories, you sometimes wonder if he's improvising or using his pre-scripted words. Like when he takes off his jacket, "I'm sweating like a pedophile in a Barney costume." Improv or scripted? Doesn't really matter. He gets his deserved laughs either way. Oh, and when the laughs don't come as he's expecting, Jordan pulls the classic Johnny Carson trick commenting on the joke falling flat. And just like Johnny, gets the intended laugh.

As an 'encore,' Jordan describes what his father, as Santa, reluctantly got him for Christmas. He should always include this little very touching piece in Fruit Fly. And wait until you see who Fruit Fly really refers to. Surprisingly, it's not the Emmy-winner Leslie Jordan. Very sweet!

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From This Author Gil Kaan