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Sordid Lives: A Comedy in Four Chapters Paperback – August 24, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0573630439 ISBN-10: 0573630437

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Samuel French, Inc. (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0573630437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0573630439
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,029,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
Originally staged in Los Angeles, SORDID LIVES is a study in bad taste with a Texas twist. Grandma Peggy was "a good Christian woman" until her husband died and she took up honky-tonking, had a cheap affair with a neighbor's husband, and died when she tripped over his wooden legs in a seedy motel room. Now her family and friends are left to face more scandal than a Jerry Springer show--and set about adding to it with every passing moment.

The play is difficult to describe because it involves several plots that overlap and interlock. Sissy is trying to quit smoking. Latrelle and La Vonda are arguing over funeral arrangements. G.W. is held at gunpoint by irate wife Noleta. Brother Boy, who has been in a mental hospital for twenty-three years "because he thinks he's Tammy Wynette" must do battle with his therapist, who is determined to "dehomosexualize" him. All these and more ultimately collide at Peggy's funeral, where confessions are voiced, excuses are made, and all hell breaks loose.

SORDID LIVES is extremely crass and often somewhat obvious, but Dell Shores has a remarkable gift for tapping into unsavory archetypes--and he damn sure can turn a phrase with the best of 'em, tossing off a flurry of wickedly funny lines in every scene. It is worth pointing out, though, that plays are not really intended to be read--they are intended to be seen, and readers may have some difficulty understanding precisely how the thing "plays" before a live audience. Take my word for it: this one is a screamer.

The acting edition now published by Samuel French Inc. not only includes the original script, but Shores' post-2000 revisions as well, in which he adds a new character to the mix: barfly Juanita, who was originally created for the film version. She's a fun character, but I think the script is actually stronger without her--but you be the judge. Either way, you should brace yourself: fox furs are gonna fly!

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael S. Waren on December 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
This hilarious script to the play by Del Shores is a real hoot and the basis for the film of the same name. (Mr. Shores divides this work up into four One-Acts that can be presented separately or all together) You don't need to be or from Texas to enjoy this work. I think you would be hard pressed not to identify with this family in one way or another. The scene between Ty and his mother Latrelle, brings a tear to my eye every time I read or see it.
In short the plot is this, a potential scandal erupts involving the Williamson family's grandmother who committed adultery with a married man (G.W. Nethercott) and then died in a funny but tragic way in a seedy hotel room. The family must deal with the scandal. Also include during this family's crisis is a female impersonator brother (Brother Boy) who performs Tammy Wynette songs and wants to be free from the Mental Institution where he has been in "protection" for the last several years and a young gay son who is struggling to find acceptance from his mother.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was listed as used but you couldn't tell anyone had even turned a single page! A very funny script.
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