PRESS RELEASE (1999)
PRODUCTION BEGINS ON SORDID LIVES, STARRING OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN, BEAU BRIDGES, DELTA BURKE AND BONNIE BEDELIA
Del Shores, Sharyn Lane, Delta Burke, Ann Walker and Olivia
Based On Hit Play, Original Cast Members Ann Walker, Leslie Jordan, Rosemary Alexander, Newell Alexander, Kirk Geiger, Beth Grant And Earl Bullock To Reprise Roles
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
LOS ANGELES Production began August 27th 1999 on Sordid Lives, a Texas comedy from award-winning playwright Del Shores. The independent film stars Olivia Newton-John, Beau Bridges, Delta Burke and Bonnie Bedelia. Filmed on location in Southern California and Texas, this picture is one of the first to be shot in Digital High Definition and transferred to film for theatrical release.
The ensemble cast of Sordid Lives puts a comedic twist on a story of unconditional love, acceptance and "coming out" in a Texas family, as they all converge for the matriarch's funeral. The eccentric characters include: a mother (Bedelia) who is wound-too-tight and in-denial over her gay son, a barfly/singer (Newton-John) at the local watering hole, a cheating heart (Bridges) who's wooden legs accidentally aid in the death of his mistress the family matriarch, the cheating heart's wife (Burke) who tries her hand at revenge therapy inspired by "Thelma & Louise" along with her best friend who happens to be the deceased's daughter and sister to the family outcast a transvestite who lives in a mental institution dressed as Tammy Wynette! Lead by comedic voices, their lives intertwine, giving each a new perspective, honesty and meaning.
The indie production, Sordid Lives, is written and directed by Del Shores (Daddy's Dyin... Who's Got The Will?). The film is produced by Victoria Alonso (Shrek), Max CiVon (A.F.I., SONY Pictures), J. Todd Harris (Dudley Do-Right) and Sharyn Lane (Just Desserts). Based on the critically acclaimed play of the same name, the original production opened at Theater/Theater in Los Angeles in May 1996, ran for 13 sold-out months and garnered 14 "critics choices" from LA theater critics.
Marking only her fifth feature film performance, Olivia Newton-John will take time off from her current schedule of U.S. concert performances to take on the role of "Bitsy Mae Harling." She has also written and will perform an original song in addition to arranging and performing five songs for the feature. With a career that spans 25 years, she has sold over 50 million records worldwide, produced five #1 pop hits and 15 Top 10 singles, received four Grammys, numerous CMA, AMA and People's Choice Awards and most recently, a 1999 Daytime Emmy Award for penning the song "This Is Our Moment," for the popular daytime drama As The World Turns. Her film credits include Grease, Xanadu, Two of a Kind and It's My Party.
Beau Bridges will take on the role of "G.W. Nethercott," a former Vietnam vet with questionable moral character and placement of his wooden legs, thus marking his second feature production with writer/director Del Shores. The pair first worked together in 1990 on Shores' comedy/drama Daddy's Dyin'... Who's Got The Will? Bridges is a three time Emmy award-winning actor who has portrayed a myriad of characters during his successful career spanning more than three decades. Among his many credits, he has appeared in over 80 television series, numerous television films and specials and has appeared on Broadway in Where's Daddy? He most recently completed production on the A&E original P.T. Barnum, in which he stars as Phineas Taylor Barnum, the legendary showman. His other recent cable projects include Inherit the Wind, The Defenders and Hidden in America, all for Showtime, as well as TNT's Kissinger & Nixon. Some of his many film credits include The Fabulous Baker Boys, Rocket Man, Married to It, Night Crossing, The Other Side of the Mountain and Norma Rae.
Delta Burke transforms herself into the gun-toting bitter wife "Noleta Nethercott," a departure from the character she is best known for; Suzanne Sugarbaker, on the hit television series Designing Women, a role which garnered her two Emmy nominations. A former model, Burke began her acting career on the television movie Charleston, which quickly led to a starring role on the miniseries, The Seekers and her first co- starring role on the series The Chisholms. Her other television credits include Filthy Rich, HBO's First and Ten and most recently a recurring role on Lifetime's Any Day Now, as the sister to former Designing Women co-star Annie Potts. In addition to her return to acting, Burke has launched a clothing line for "real-sized" women.
Bonnie Bedelia is set to take on the role of "Latrelle Williamson," a proper Southern woman who is simply in denial. Best known for her roles in Heart Like a Wheel, Presumed Innocent Die Hard and Die Hard 2, Bedelia's credits include some of the most memorable characters in film history. In addition to her high profile feature film work, she has graced the small screen with projects such as A Mother's Right: The Elisabeth Morgan Story and Switched at Birth, as well as numerous television guest appearances. Her most recent project is the upcoming feature film Anywhere But Here, with co-stars Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman.
Cast members from the original play production to reprise their roles are Ann Walker as "La Vonda," sister to Latrelle and Leslie Jordan's character, the flamboyant transvestite "Brother Boy," Rosemary Alexander as his nymphomaniac, alcoholic- therapist "Dr. Eve Bolinger," Newell Alexander as "Wardell," Kirk Geiger as the gay son "Ty," Beth Grant as "Sissy," the nicotine-starved sister to the deceased and Earl Bullock as "Odell." In addition, new characters created for the film to be played by original play production cast members are Mary-Margaret Lewis, Margot Rose and Mitch Carter.
Writer/producer/playwright Del Shores will make his directorial debut with Sordid Lives. The critically acclaimed stage production garnered Shores three Drama-Logue Theatre Awards for writing, directing and producing, with the play going on to win a total of fourteen. Shores other long time running production Daddy's Dyin'... Who's Got The Will?, which has been produced in over 800 theatres worldwide, was adapted for the big screen with stars Beau Bridges, Tess Harper, Judge Reinhold, Keith Carradine and Beverly D'Angelo and was released in 1990 by MGM and Propaganda Films. His other notable plays include the award-winning Cheatin' and Daughters of the Lone Star State. All are published by Samuel French. In addition, Shores has written pilots for every major network and written and produced such notable television programs as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Live Shot, Touched By An Angel, and Ned and Stacey.
Sordid Lives can be found on the Internet at http://www.sordidlives.com
Sordid Lives stars Olivia Newton-John, Beau Bridges, Delta Burke and Bonnie Bedelia in a comedy about acceptance and life in a small Texas family. Based on his hit play of the same name, the feature was written and directed by Del Shores.
The ensemble cast of Sordid Lives puts a comedic twist on a story of unconditional love, acceptance and "coming out" in a Texas family, as they all converge for the matriarch's funeral. Lead by comedic voices, their lives intertwine, giving each a new perspective, honesty and meaning.
Olivia Newton-John "Bitsy Mae Harling"
Beau Bridges "G.W. Nethercott"
Delta Burke "Noleta Nethercott"
Bonnie Bedelia "Latrelle Williamson"
Ann Walker "LaVonda Dupree"
Kirk Geiger "Ty Williamson"
Leslie Jordan "Brother Boy"
Producer - Victoria Alonso
Producer - >Max CiVon
Producer - Sharyn Lane
Producer - J. Todd Harris
Co-Producer - Jim Eckerd
Co-Producer - George Conda
Associate Producer - Jourdan Krauss
Writer/Director - Del Shores