My Trip Down the Pink Carpet
Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan's autobiographical one-man show is full of hilarious stories.
Using a stanchion and velvet rope as amusing multiuse props, Jordan dishes out hilarious memories of growing up gay in the South and as an emerging actor in 1980s Hollywood. (A highlight is his impersonation of himself trying to butch it up as an FBI agent in some long-forgotten TV show.) But they're mostly loosely connected anecdotes that don't really go anywhere. Just when a story starts to get interesting, an old disco classic revs up on the speakers (the sound design is by Wallace Flores), whereupon Jordan takes a dance break and the show experiences a bout of narrative interruptus.
The work is a variation on two different shows that Jordan has toured over the last two decades, Hysterical Blindness and Other Southern Tragedies That Have Plagued My Life Thus Far and, especially, Like a Dog on Linoleum. Once again, Jordan's theme is that of a hopelessly immature, politically incorrect lover looking for respect. He is, he claims, "a high school cheerleader stuck in a 55-year-old body." And if we didn't get the point, he throws in a few non sequitur facts that we may or may not want to know, for example, that he was in the company of a "cowboy hustler" when he took the call that led to his fateful audition for Will & Grace.
Jordan ends the evening on a moving confessional note, recalling an unexpected gesture of kindness from his cold, detached father one Christmas Eve long, long ago. He clearly wants us to make psychological connections. This is, after all, a story of someone who developed a sharp, protective sense of humor as a defense against pain and rejection.