By Barbara B. Covell
For the TODAY
He is a gifted playwright, writer, director, comedian and actor. Known for his delicious one-man shows, albeit a tad decadent and adult-themed; yet a punch to the funny bone for his diverse and appreciative audiences. Del Shores is returning to the Yachats Commons stage on Saturday, Dec. 9, premiering his new one-man show, “Six Characters in Search of a Play”.
“I love the Yachats venue,” Shores said. “It reminds me of the high school gymnasiums where I started. There’s something about working a stage and seeing basketball hoops.”
Best known for crafting the hilarious 1996 stage show “Sordid Lives,” Shores achieved recognition as a playwright, director and producer with a 13-month Los Angeles run. Shortly thereafter, Shores produced the motion picture version of “Sordid Lives,” starring Beau Bridges, Bonnie Bedelia, Delta Burke, Olivia Newton-John, Leslie Jordan and Beth Grant, along with most of the cast from the play. “Sordid Lives: The Series” was a television prequel to the film which received international acclaim. Shores created, wrote, directed and executive produced all 12 episodes.
In 2000, Shores launched “Southern Baptist Sissies” for a 10-month run in Los Angeles. It completely sold out and was revived in 2002 for another six months. “The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife” premiered in 2003 and garnered multiple Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awards. The film version of this play featured the entire original stage cast with Shores writing, directing and producing. Entitled “Blues For Willadean,” it was released in 2012. One year later, Shores released the film version of “Southern Baptist Sissies” and won 10 major awards on the film festival circuit.
In March 2017, Shores released “A Very Sordid Wedding” for its world premiere in Palm Springs. It was in limited theaters, enjoyed sellout shows and rave reviews, now available on DVD. This is the final chapter of the “Sordid Lives” franchise, advancing the characters 17 years to glimpse marriage equality in Winters, Texas. There are many familiar franchise veterans featured, including Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, Caroline Rhea, Dale Dickey and Ann Walker. Audiences loved the cameos by Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Mapa, and Carole Cook. For those who possess a sharp eye, there are several Yachatians appearing in the final wedding scene.
Del Shores has successfully reinvented his hallmark standup career and toured nationally with four different shows. Audiences love his brash humor, political rants and stories about abruptly becoming single in his 50s. Now in preparation for his 2018 tour, he is premiering his latest endeavor, “Six Characters in Search of a Play” on the Yachats Commons stage. It is inspired by the classic Pirandello play “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and directed by Emerson Collins.
Shores is a master of character development and enjoys unencumbered standup comedy. He works best with a simple set, a few chairs, perhaps a table and no costumes. It is the content and delivery which make the difference, and in “Six Characters in Search of a Play,” Shores is digging deep.
“This is more theatrical than standup. It is like a one man play,” Shores said, adding: “It has been a lot of work.”
Describing himself as an observer of life, Shores said characters are the driving force of his work.
“Whether writing, acting, directing or producing, it is how the story is told,” he said. “You have to scratch hard to know who your characters are, who they were, and what they want.”
In creating “Six Characters in Search of a Play,” Shores drew from 20 different people he has known to create the five women and one man he portrays on stage.
“I had a lot of inspiration,” he said, “so I am giving them a place to call home.”
Shores will be portraying Yvonne, the vegetarian-hating waitress; Sarah, an elderly actress determined to smoke and drink herself to death if Trump becomes president; Lorraine, the brilliant, proud, creative drama teacher who lost her mind; Jimmy Ray, the evolving Georgia redneck; Aunt Bobbie Sue, the blue collar, good-hearted Republican racist; and Marsha, a monkey-hating lesbian with CPOD.
“The challenge is differentiating each character with my body and voice,” Shores said. “Imaginative audiences will enjoy.”
Saturday’s show, sponsored by One of Us Productions and Polly Plumb, starts at 7 pm at the Yachats Commons, 441 Hwy. 101 N.
Tickets, $20, are available on the door or online at oneofusyachats.yapsody.com, as well as from Waldport Chuck’s Video, Crescent Moon Consignment, Toad Hall, and Yachats Video.
For more information, call 541-547-4350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.