Emmy-winning comedian Leslie Jordan returns to Nashville

Award-winning actor and comedian Leslie Jordan will return to his home state as part of the current nationwide tour of his critically acclaimed one-man show entitled “My Trip Down the Pink Carpet”. 

Jordan has played in more than 25 cities with his coast-to-coast triumphant tour-de-force and will be appearing locally at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville. The one night only performance is set for Monday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m.

Aside from the national touring production, it’s been a very busy summer for the Will & Grace Emmy Award winning star, who, over the course of an astounding 30-year career, has built an impressive, memorable resume with innumerable television, film, stage and commercial appearances. 

Jordan’s current show has been in conjunction with his debut as author of his first book which bears the same title; an autobiographical retelling of his ascension towards celebritydom - with all the bumps in the road, personal challenges and triumphs along the way and a good dollop of dish just for good measure.

Jordan’s current run in the limelight has also been reinforced with the recent premiere of Sordid Lives, The Prequel, reprising the role of Brother Boy, which first brought him to prominence on the art house film circuit.   The Logo Channel is airing the 10-episode follow-up to the cult classic throughout late summer and once again, Jordan’s scene-stealing presence is a delight to behold.

While Jordan’s triumphant return to Tennessee caps what was initially planned as the show’s final performance, popular word-of-mouth and demand has the show’s producer planning to continue “My Trip Down the Pink Carpet” for both return engagements and new markets.  Announcements for the show’s continued run through the end of the year, currently being planned, will be made in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the Nashville engagement of “My Trip Down the Pink Carpet” at the Belcourt Theater are available online at www.belcourt.org or at the box office from 4 to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The box office is located at 2102 Belcourt Ave. in Nashville.

Recently, Leslie Jordan took time from his tour schedule to talk with O&AN about his new book and the tour during an exclusive phone interview.

O&AN: What can we expect from you this time around for “My Trip Down the Pink Carpet”?

LJ: This is the best show I have done yet. I did it first in New York originally, as a one-night-only thing, but it went over so well I decided to take it on the road.

I used the tour to really hone the act down and I think its right where I want it now, so Nashville will get to see it at its best. It’s got great, fun stories about Hollywood and I am really proud of it. Everything you will see is straight from the book.

The promoters were worried at first that if they could see the act then they might not buy the book. We sell the book after the show in the lobby and those queens line up down the street.

O&AN: What was it like stepping back into Brother Boy’s high heels again for the Sordid Lives television show?

LJ: It didn’t take much for me to get back into Brother Boy. I really didn’t have a whole lot of time to think! We flew to Shreveport, Louisiana, and we shot 13 episodes in six days.

I got there and they shaved me from head-to-toe, threw me in that orange suit and away we went. I’m convinced it was some of my best work ever. I’m the kind of actor that if you give me time to think about it I plan and plan and plan, but I’m funnier when I don’t plan and you just throw me out there in front of the camera and you force me to use my kinetic instincts.

O&AN: How do you feel about the new television show?

LJ: This show is going to win awards. I guarantee it! Olivia Newton-John recorded five songs for the show that are brilliant. Rue McClanahan is delivering the best work she has ever done and Caroline Rhea is just hilarious. I hate that Delta Burke couldn’t join us for the television show, but we couldn’t have found anyone better to play the part than Caroline.

O&AN: You have been a pretty busy actor for a log time now, but things really kicked into high gear for you after winning your Emmy. What is your secret to keep up such a steady pace of work as you do?

LJ: I had some good times and had a good run for a long time as a meth addict and a drunk. I’m not ashamed of it, but for the past ten years I have been living good.

I get my rest. I sleep ten hours every night and I don’t drink or smoke. I don’t do any drugs at all and I go to the gym to get my exercise and it makes all the difference in the world especially at my age. The energy comes from eating right.

It’s been so hard on tour, too, because I’m on a big, tricked-out, Loretta Lynn style tour bus and we pull into these truck stops in the middle of the night and I’ll go in and try to find something to eat and it’s just impossible to eat right.

O&AN: In the past we have talked a lot about how strained your relationship with your family has been at times because of your being gay. Has that situation changed at all now that you are more in the mainstream spotlight?

LJ: For the longest time I kept the gay world from my family world and for the first time this is the closest to my authentic self I have ever been. I don’t feel like I have to juggle all of those different parts of my life to keep them separate any more.

I never let my mother see “Like a Dog on Linoleum” or “Southern Baptists Sissies”. She saw the movie of “Sordid Lives” and all she could talk about was “that woman almost my age showing her breasts.” She says to me, “She’s what’s known as an exhibitionist. That’s what she is. Imagine. At her age!”

When she saw the new show for the first time she hugged me with tears in her eyes and told me how proud of me she was. The entire gay community has embraced my family like you wouldn’t believe and it makes me very happy to have both parts of my life together at last.

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