Los Angeles Theater Preview: LESLIE JORDAN: SHOW PONY (L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Renberg Theatre)

by Tony Frankel on December 9, 2013

in Theater-Los Angeles


Have you ever been to a sultry party that has the oppressive feel of a languid, humid day in the Deep South, only to have the energy shift dramatically when a raconteur blows in like a refreshing breeze off the Gulf Coast? Usually, it is someone who can Leslie Jordan-photo by Jim Coxrecount their adventures with style, pith, and crackerjack one-liners. The energy sizzles as this bon vivant shocks, amuses, and transports you with extraordinary tales of their best and worst of times, sandwiching insightful social commentary between layers of anecdotes.

Perhaps you have not been in the presence of a raconteur, as these witty and frank conversationalists are becoming a rare breed (if not an endangered species), victims of the social media and its world of transitory communiqués. Come to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Renberg Theatre beginning Dec. 12, 2013, and you will have the opportunity to meet the life of the party, Mr. Leslie Jordan. This rascally storyteller returns to the Renberg with an all-new autobiographical outing, Show Pony, which contains his trademark hysterical entertainment industry dish, eccentric annotations and discernments, and true-life yarns from his escapade-filled career.

Jordan’s largely-gay fan base knows this drawling, middle-aged pixie as Beverley Leslie, the contentious, sparring nemesis of Megan Mullally in TV’s Will and Grace. Others may remember him as a mental drag queen in Del Shores’ Sordid Lives. Those lucky enough to have seen his most recent one-man show, Fruit Fly, a Leslie Jordan-photo by Jim Cox.coming-of-gay story in which a sissified boy in Chattanooga, Tennessee could do little to hide his natural flamboyance, will never forget Leslie Jordan as…well, Leslie Jordan.

According to Urban Dictionary, a “Show Pony” is 1) A person that shows off in the public eye and does things just for the hell of it, commonly of gay sexuality; 2) A dumb blonde with big boobs; 3) Stunningly beautiful; 4) Someone who not only looks better than the rest but just is; and 5) A variation of the Donkey Punch, in which a sharp blow is given by the active partner to the passive partner’s kidneys during anal sex (the sudden pain from the blow causes a clenching that enhances the pleasure of the penetrating participant). While Jordan’s humor can certainly cause belly laughs that tighten the solar plexus, his title proposes something different from these definitions.

I thought the title referred only to any breed of horse that is small in size when full grown, but when asked to describe Show Pony, Jordan said: “It’s about how, after I won that Emmy in 2006, I thought, ‘Well, I’m just set.’ But right after I won, I learned Leslie Jordan Emmythat you cannot EAT an Emmy and I have to keep this ol’ ship afloat. Now my management has told me, ‘You gotta move on. The Will and Grace stories are old news; they want current stuff; talk about being on RuPaul’s Drag Race; talk about The Helpthat won an Academy Award. Talk about American Horror Story [whoops, can’t talk about that—it’s secret! Well, maybe just a little]. Talk about what you’ve been up to lately. Make it current!’ That’s what this show is about.”

Whatever the reason Mr. Jordan has decided to canter onto the Renberg stage, this thoroughbred of persuasive silliness will delightfully prove why he has more horsepower than most comedians: While many in showbiz drive their careers at a safe pace, he continues to loosen his reins and run off the bridle.

photos courtesy of http://thelesliejordan.com/

Leslie Jordan: Show Pony
Reaction Productions
L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center
Renberg Theatre
The Village at Ed Gould Plaza
1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood
December 12-15, 2013
for tickets, call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lagaycenter.org/theatre

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