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Modern Family on Drugs : Sordid Lives @ Theatre Out in Santa Ana – Review


L to R: Chuck Murphy, Lori Kelley
 Courtesy of Theatre Out

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

Although it took a few minutes to engage me fully, Sordid Lives was a show with just the right amount of dark humor and the right touch of sobriety.

Their suitable tagline reads, “a black comedy about white trash.” The story follows a family dealing with the loss of their elderly matriarch, who was accidentally killed while having sexual relations with a younger married man. Some of her more critical surviving relatives include a gay grandson who is not yet “out,” two daughters arguing over the dear departed’s funeral attire and her son who has spent the last 23 years locked in a psych ward for being a cross-dresser. In their ways, they face the aftermath of her death and the possibility of an embarrassing funeral.

 It’s s a fun show, and I’ll admit I had a little trouble getting into it initially. There are many different things being discussed and many plots being established, and it’s hard to keep track. Still, once the story expands beyond women in a living room bickering with each other and “show, don’t tell” is implemented, everything becomes clear as day. The jokes were amusing without being grotesque, and I found the acting convincing. There are moments when the characters do outrageous things that you know they won’t get away with it, but these actions are neither otherworldly nor overly disgusting. The combination of black humor and a strong message about acceptance of the self and those you love was well written and portrayed. 

Side note:  Sordid Lives is based on a movie of the same name.


Buy tickets here:

Date & Location :
October 3rd-October 25th

Theatre Out 
402 W. 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701

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Tags: , , , , Last modified: November 29, 2022