Del Shores: Sordid Confessions (Breaking Glass Pictures, NR)

delshores sordidconIt’s a pleasant 90 minutes if you like his brand of humor: nothing earthshaking, but fun all the same.


Del Shores may be best known for his plays, including Southern Baptist Sissies, Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will, and Sordid Lives (all of which have been performed in St. Louis), but he also has an active career as a standup comedian. Del Shores: Sordid Confessions is a concert film of his 2012 comedy show of the same name, performed in a small theater in Dallas, and it captures the feel of being in the audience at a live show. It’s a pleasant 90 minutes if you like his brand of humor: nothing earthshaking, but fun all the same.

There’s a bit of a preface, in which Shores is “confronted” outside the theater by members of C.L.A.P. (church ladies against pornography) who want to pray his gay away. It’s a nice little extra to introduce the show itself, and Shores is as charming in the light of day as he is on stage. Shores is a charming stage presence, and mixes up his material well—while some of his jokes are already creaking with age (does anyone really care about Bristol Palin these days?), many more are rooted in observation and personal experience, and will resonate with viewers for years to come. He has a nice rapport with the audience and a relaxed manner of interacting with them, and that comes across well in this recorded performance.

The show is organized around a series of confessions, although not of the type you would be likely to tell a priest (well, maybe Nathan Lane’s Father Dan from Jeffrey), ranging from the fairly ordinary (he likes to smoke pot) to the more surprising (he has a thing for midgets) and the positively weird (he certainly seems to have some issues with homeless people). Shores works in his religious background (the better to put down people who like to quote the Bible to condemn gay people, most of whom never consider which passages might apply to themselves), and talks about his experiences in show business (note to actors: never piss off a writer).

The DVD of Sordid Confessions includes several extras, including a backstage feature (3 min.), interviews with audience members (4 min.), a shaky-cam view of the poster shoot (a Warholesque 21 min.), a slide show, and the film’s trailer. | Sarah Boslaugh

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