The World's New Gay State

Leslie Jordan Made Me Cry.

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on April 25, 2010

That’s right, I said it.  It happened after several days of chaotic travel and personal matters that needed my attention.  I was away and snuck into Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.  Saturday night we had dinner in Chelsea and met some friends before whisking off to the Midtown Theater to see Emmy Award Winner Leslie Jordan in his incredible one-man show “My Trip Down The Pink Carpet.”

From the opening line, Leslie had the audience laughing out loud.  It was funny, he was hilarious, it was intriguing hearing all of the gossip and juicy details of the strange and exciting life of a man who was an unlikely Hollywood success story.  The audience adored Leslie Jordan.  And I loved Leslie Jordan.

For the younger audience, they know Leslie Jordan as Beverly Leslie, the petite scene stealer who played the sarcastic arch-nemesis to one Karen Walker, played by Megan Mulally of “Will and Grace” fame.  From his opening line of  “Karen Walker!  I thought I smelled Gin and regret,” Leslie had us all in the palm of his hand.

What I suspect many in the audience didn’t know, was the long and storied career he has had, from working with a young Robert Urich, to John Ritter to Faye  Dunaway.   The show however, wasn’t just a laugh out loud comedy/cabaret act.  Leslie sang and boogied his way through a drug and booze filled Disco era and the audience came along for the ride.

What ultimately was most poignant, was Leslie Jordan’s strength in exposing a very human vulnerability that afflicts us all.  And yes, the issues of growing up in a non-Gay community and family that brutalized our souls and damaged our very sense of self-worth.  He spoke of his internalized homophobia and the torment he endured in coming to terms with who he was.  And as Jordan aptly described, the younger generation Twits and Tweetwers its way through Gay expression, but for us Gay men and women of a certain age, the loneliness and despair of finding ones way in the world was often a sad and desperate journey that too often ended in suicide or psychosis that required therapy.

While some in the audience were wiping away the tears, others simply laughed their way through the tears.  Readers, while you can, see this show.  It will strike a chord, I guarantee.  It will remind you of what we’ve been through to get where we are.  But make no mistake, this is one of the most fun evenings many of us have had in a very long time.

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