Leslie Jordan Returns
Leslie Jordan has had trouble with women. Betty White killed him with a frying pan on "Boston Legal"; he was convinced that he was Tammy Wynette in the film and TV series "Sordid Lives"; he was Karen Walker’s arch-nemesis for six seasons on "Will & Grace"; and this season, he tangled with the witches of "American Horror Story: Coven."
But the first woman in his life, his 78-year-old Southern Baptist mother from Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the inspiration for his latest one-man show "Fruit Fly," which he’ll bring to Feinstein’s on Fri., Jan. 31.
"When I was back home, my mother showed me these slides of me as a child," he says with his trademark Southern drawl. "I saw this amazing journey of a gay boy and his mom. I took her with me on a gay cruise to Alaska a few years ago, and she just loved it. We’ve been on a few more gay cruises since then, and I’ve developed the mantra: ’Mother does the best she can with the light she has to see with.’"
Jordan took the family slides and sat down with his longtime friend and director David Galligan, and together, they developed the show. "I wrote Fruit Fly to answer the age-old question: Does a gay boy become his mother?" He’s performed the show in L.A., on London’s West End, in Toronto, and at New York’s One for All Play Festival. This will be its San Francisco premiere.
He’s no stranger to working in female-heavy ensembles, having played the crotchety editor who hires Emma Stone in "The Help," but he was nearly overwhelmed to be among the Oscar and Tony Award-winning witches of "American Horror Story: Coven."
"I would sit there and need to pinch myself," he says. "Jessica Lange is a real movie star who has breathed that rarified air, but she’s very accessible, sweet, kind, and very serious about the work. And my new favorite actress is Frances Conroy.