Lily Tomlin gave gay comic Leslie Jordan some sage advice not long ago about his one man shows across the country. She told him no one cared about the sets he often brings along with him – what they wanted to see is him simply tell his stories. He returns to Mixx on Thursday to do just that with his new show, “Stories I Can’t Tell Mama.”
As he was picking material for his latest appearance in the ATL, Jordan thought about the notion he’s had for a while – that gay men just eventually become their mothers. Using slides and show and tell, he recounts his own relationship with his mother in Chattanooga in “Stories” and how their relationship has changed over time, especially since coming out to her.
“It’s a perfect show to do around Mother’s Day,” he says.
Jordan and his own mother are admittedly close – they speak via phone every single day – although they’ve had some “storied times.”
“She thinks I am too dirty,” he admits.
His mother is accompanying him and his sisters on a gay cruise this summer where he’ll be a performer, and he is devising ways to keep her from seeing him cut loose in front of a gay audience.
Jordan won an Emmy Award for his work on the gay-themed “Will and Grace” and has continued to perform one-man shows as well as his acting gigs. He calls last year’s “The Help” the best experience of his professional life.
“I’m used to doing low budget movies,” he says. ”They flew us all down to rehearsal and all of a sudden I was sitting around a table with Viola Davis and Sissy Spacek and they were scribbling notes in their script.”
He has lots of stories from the set. His favorite is about Cicely Tyson, the Oscar winner with a small role in the film.
“Cicely is a vegan , and what are you going to feed a vegan in Mississippi?” he says. “We were trying to find food for her to eat in Jackson and finally I went up to her and said, ‘This is the South – if you can’t fuck it or fry it, forget it!’ She loved it and laughed so hard.”
Jordan is no stranger to Atlanta and always relishes the opportunity to perform here.
“I like being here,” he says. “I guess I’ll wind up in Atlanta soon. It would be a grand place to be.”
Top photo: Comedian Leslie Jordan (courtesy photo)