The More Sordid the Better!
Christopher Peterson returns to Rehoboth in a Southern-fried comedy
The zany, slightly warped, very funny dark comedy/melodrama Sordid Lives is on the boards right now at Clear Space Theatre company’s headquarters at 20 Baltimore Avenue.
And just like last season’s genius casting of Christopher Peterson in La Cage, this season Peterson has been plunked down in Sordid Lives as Brother Boy, a hilariously deluded fellow who’s been institutionalized for years because he thinks he is Tammy Wynette. If anybody can make you believe he’s the country music queen wailing “Stand by Your Man,” it’s Christopher Peterson.
Christopher quotes Bette Midler in noting that Brother Boy is “trapped in an act of his own design” as a lost soul trying to make a life within an insane world.
As for the show itself, Christopher calls Sordid Lives, “a black comedy about white trash. Every family has its moments when the shit hits the fan and it can bring out the worst and the best in all of us.”
The show is a cult hit comedy with equal portions of infidelity, country and western music, and trailer trash.
The cast, in addition to Peterson, includes Valorie Jarrell, Liz Roe, Dick Pack, Cheryl Graves, David Warick, Richard Huffman, Ryan Hagan, Mary O’Neill, Nancy Curry, and Amy Warick.
The show is running in repertory this summer along with productions of The Full Monty, and the Broadway classic Oliver!
And, also like last season, Christopher will just about get his make-up off from one show, and he’ll be putting on his Eyecon eyeliner for his later-night production of The Rest of the Best of Eyecons. It’s there, that audiences will once again see North America’s most awesome female impersonator, singing, sashaying, and bringing the house down in his one-man playing many woman show.
“I always get a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy when I come back to Rehoboth; it feels like home, or maybe I had some bad clams. Either way the people and the community are amazing,” says Christopher.
A Director’s “Sordid” Take
Long-time Clear Space instructor, performer, and director David Button takes on the directorial duties for Sordid Lives, and has a theory about the show.
“The first truth to acknowledge about Sordid LIves is that its characters, albeit quirky and flawed, are actually honest and vulnerable—and strangely familiar. In fact, it’s possible for anyone to find traces of a friend or relative somewhere in the ensemble. Therefore, portraying these characters as caricatures simply isn’t fair. The cast and I want these people to be, yes, specific character types, but still ones who are rooted in reality.”
Button goes on to acknowledge that Sordid Lives is actually a show about acceptance and unconditional love. Despite its edgy, and sometimes in-your-face humor, we find real people with real problems struggling to find themselves. “
Along with Sordid Lives, Clear Space is presenting The Full Monty, following six unemployed steelworkers in Buffalo, NY as they create a strip act after seeing their wives’ enthusiasm for a touring company of Chippendale dancers. Their show will be better than the Chippendale dancers as they’ll go “the full monty” and strip all the way! The show features the talents of Steven Dow, Peyton Lynch, Peter Kane, Claudius Bowden, Peter Pesquera, Ryan Hagan, Erin Williams, Donna de Kuyper, and Jann Ellis. Directed by David Button, choreography by Shondelle Graulich, and musical direction by Melanie Bradley.
The family favorite, Oliver! directed by Artistic Director, Doug Yetter, with Musical Director Julie Fair, and Choreographer Christa Pardocci rounds out the season. Based on the Charles Dickens’ classic, Oliver Twist, this timeless musical follows young Oliver on his journey from orphanage to the seedy underground of London to finding his family. The production stars Wade Stout as Oliver, Dick Pack as Fagin, Abby Chesney as Nancy, Ed Teti as Mr. Bumble, Janice Jester as Widow Corney, and Matt Lewis as the Artful Dodger.
So check out the summer season at Clear Space Theatre Company. And welcome Rehoboth’s own Christopher Peterson back for another great theatrical season.