Del Shores Becomes ‘Six Characters’ in His New One-Man Show

by Hiko Mitsuzuka (@TheFirstEcho)

PHOTO: Mat Hayes

In the 2000 Southern-fried cult hit Sordid Lives, writer-director-playwright Del Shores served up a slice of “black comedy about white trash” of Dickensian proportions, which led to a 2008 series on Logo and a long-overdue theatrical sequel in 2017. The Texas saga was hugely inspired by Shores’s experiences growing up in the God-fearing small town of Winters, and his new one-man show, Six Characters in Search of a Play, delves further into that colorfully twangy past. This 90-minute show, now playing at the Celebration Theatre in Hollywood, reenacts key moments and showcases individuals who left an impact on the writer throughout the years. And all are brought to life by Shores himself.

One-man shows arguably tend to be self-indulgent occasions, depending on the star and depending on the material. For some actors, it could be a blatant exercise in venting out their frustrations with the world. But with the funny and sometimes heartbreaking Six Characters, Shores gets to exercise his extraordinary talent as a legit storyteller, effortlessly taking the audience on a journey within the confines of a 64-seat venue, most of which is decked out with set pieces from another production that miraculously never become a distraction. And with the help of director Emerson Collins, Shores makes sure that all eyes are on him.

PHOTO: Mat Hayes

Fans of Shores’s work will eat up his stories, especially those that involve behind-the-scenes tidbits on the stuff that put him on the “minor gay celebrity” map. Others will undoubtedly find his anecdotes surprisingly relatable. One standout piece is a compelling tale about one woman who influenced his life like no other, and it is guaranteed to cause the driest of eyes to moisten up.

Others include encounters with Yvonne, a Dallas waitress who has no patience for vegetarians; Sarah, a Trump-hating elderly actress who constantly has an inhaler in one hand and a cigarette in the other; Jimmy Ray, a Georgia redneck who falls under the spell of Channing Tatum’s gyrating hips in Magic Mike; Marsha, a monkey-hating lesbian with COPD; and Aunt Bobby Sue, a racist Republican with a heart of gold.

Shores introduces the audience to these six characters because he genuinely wants the audience to get to know these six characters — to understand the worlds they come from. Ultimately, all of it wonderfully demonstrates an empathy that most of us have been missing in our negative news feed-filled lives.

Six Characters in Search of a Play is now running through late March at Celebration Theater @ the Lex. Get tickets here.

About The Author

Hiko Mitsuzuka
Entertainment Editor-at-Large

Hiko Mitsuzuka is a self-proclaimed pop culture connoisseur who resides in L.A. and obsesses over songs months before everyone else obsesses over them. He has worked in TV and commercial production ever since he left his native New York in the early 00s. He has worked at the world-renowned Anonymous Content and Carsey-Werner and freelanced as a treatment writer for award-winning directors as well as a contributing writer for 'Instinct.' In addition to writing about entertainment and travel for 'Bello,' Hiko can currently be seen in the roles of Manager of Creative Planning at Stun Creative (PromaxBDA's North America Agency of the Year, 2013, 2014, 2017), film critic for ScreenPicks.com, and contributor for The Huffington Post. He's also currently working on the novel 'Slasher Movie Girl.' His obsessions include quoting old sitcom dialogue and stalking people on Instagram. His vices include chocolate chip cookies and movie theater popcorn. Tweet him @TheFirstEcho.

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