Celebrity Table Talk

By Noelle Geiger on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:21 AM in Kirk Geiger's Press

Kirk Geiger returns to Sordid Lives as Ty in A Very Sordid Wedding

written by: John Eisele

Hello Everyone!

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Welcome to the magical month of December; where people are decking the halls, lighting the candles, packing the malls and not wearing sandals.

I truly love this time of year for a multitude of reasons. Like so many of you, I shake my head and say “where did the year go?” Each year seems like a blink, but when you take the time to look back, it’s filled with so many experiences and memories that warm the heart and nurture the soul. To that end, I always hold gratitude that so many of you are part of that reality for me.

So before we continue, I wanted to take the time to thank the Las Vegas Night Beat, the bar owners, the bartenders, the security teams, the servers throughout the city, all of the casino workers, and every member of our skyline’s hospitality team, for making us feel so welcome and embraced by the outpouring of your kindness. of your kindness. of There were difficult times this year… that will remain difficult for the ages to come. During them, however, the spirit of humanity shined as bright as the lights from this season…and together….we will remain “Vegas Strong”.

This month, I thought long and hard about the times in my life that I thought I broke the record for belly laughing. We all think back through the seasons of our lives at those epic moments when we laughed so hard we thought our lungs were going to expectorate into our gluten free linguini. Well, because this season centers on joy, I wanted to find one of those epic moments and relive it all over again…and then share it with you.

In my reflection, I remember sitting with Michael and my best friend Lizzie on our sofa in NY. It was cold outside and we wanted to stay in, order some delivery, and watch a movie. Because I absolutely love Olivia Newton-John, I rented Del Shores “Sordid Lives.” We had no idea what to expect…and could not have predicted the outcome. Collectively, we laughed so hard the neighbors must have thought we were smuggling hyenas. We literally screamed out loud. The movie soon became
a cult classic unearthing traveling theatre shows, Del’s sold out “One Man” shows, a television series on Logo, and finally, the latest chapter in its stoic cycle, “A Very Sordid Wedding.” That leads me to our cover feature this month, the wonderfully gifted actor, and star of the first and latest movie, Kirk Geiger.

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Kirk Geiger’s role in the first movie was critical in likeness to experiences so many of us have endured growing up gay. Del’s script was masterfully crafted to release those experiences. Kirk’s precision as a legitimate actor, brought them to life in an unspeakably honest and sincere way that touched heartstrings, and released tears. With an all star cast throughout each gifted chapter, including but not limited to Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, Caroline Rhea, Olivia Newton-John, Beth Grant, Beau Bridges, Ann Walker, Rosemary Alexander and Kirk Geiger, a plethora of new entertainment life was born, and an onslaught of laugh lines ensued.

As we approach Christmas, and what the “reason of the season” should be, I think about all of the bigotry that plagues our country. Some people, who allegedly are Christian, pass so much judgment that you have to wonder what their Church was built out of…hypocritical bricks? Dolly Parton, earlier this year, received so much hate mail and backlash because she said “if you pass judgment on others, you’re just as bad a sinner as the rest.” She was right…and the bigots were wrong. “A Very Sordid Wedding” has powerful performances that punctuate this, and bring us all together realizing that we are a non judgmental, loving LGBT community. If anyone can accomplish the facets of peace needed, our LGBT community outlook, our sense of togetherness, our non judgmental hearts, and our ability to care, truly represent the “reason for the season” that I wish to celebrate.

So for Christmas, I encourage you to purchase this DVD for someone you love. Del, who’s been to the house, was kind enough to extend an offer to us just in time for the holidays. Gift wrapped in love, and chock full of wonderful moments that will touch you, including a cameo by Whoopi Goldberg, this movie will bring joy to your hearts, laughter to your walls, and a yearning to watch it over and over again for seasons to come. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer for your bigoted family members too!

Now back to Kirk…the reason I had hoped he would be kind enough to chat with me, stemmed from my deep appreciation for him as an actor, and his effortless delivery as a damn nice person. He doesn’t disappoint on either level. A gentleman, in the highest form, you’ll appreciate the candor of his work, and the warmth of his heart that transcends straight through the screen.

So without further delay, let’s get to know our handsome leading Night Beat lad for December…the wonderful Kirk Geiger.


Hi Kirk! Thank you so much for sharing your time with me and our readers. I meant every word that I said in my Forward and I’m delighted that we’re chatting at Christmas time! When you read “Sordid Lives” for the first time, what impact did it have on you?

Thank you for your kind words John ! It is incredible satisfying to hear that a performance from almost twenty years ago still has resonance. I have a feeling that AVSW will spreading the love and healing for years to come as well. When I auditioned for the original stage version of Sordid Lives it wasn’t a complete script yet. Del had three separate one acts that he was weaving together with Ty’s monologues to his therapist.

I remember reading the monologues in the parking lot before my appointment and being moved by the vulnerability in Ty’s speeches. The Ruth Buzzy dream had me cracking up as well. I had just finished working on a television show for several years and was looking for some theater work to keep the stage muscles in shape. So when Del offered me the part - I jumped at the chance to be involved . I had no idea what I was in for.

Del sent me the one act ‘Nicotine fit‘ - ‘The dehomosexualization of Brother Boy’ and ‘Two Wooden Legs’. After reading them - and laughing out loud - I had no idea how he was going to put this together as a connected piece, but I knew that it would be a highly entertaining and original ride. This was before even meeting Leslie Jordan and the rest of this crazy talented cast.


Where there any emotional parallels to your own life that you harnessed into your performances?

As far as emotional parallels go - it’s more about just being a human being as far as I’m concerned. I don’t believe that you need to be gay and from the south to understand Ty’s search for acceptance. I am blessed to be able to use my imagination in my work. Del told me many first hand stories that set the basic tone and I spoke to friends and family members about their journeys coming out as well. It was Del’s stories that I paid particular attention to, since I was essentially playing him.


Geiger: ‘I don’t believe that you need to be gay and from the south to understand Ty’s search for acceptance.‘

Del Shores….there’s not enough strength in my fingers to type what I think about that wonderful creature….what was it like meeting him for the first time?

When I first met Del Shores he was a whirling dervish. The stage production of Sordid Lives was just coming together and the excitement was obvious. He was going through a lot of changes at home while creating a new world on stage. He always remained available to the actors throughout though.

At one point , I pulled him aside and said that I felt like the monologues were too serious up against the insanity of the rest of the production. He assured me that it was working and was integral to the rhythm of the piece. I still wanted to be out there shooting guns and poppin’ Valium with the rest of the cast though.


“A Very Sordid Wedding”…the culmination of this body of work seems unreal given the years it has graced during our lives. What part of your involvement in this genius work impacted you as a person the most?

What impacted me the most personally being involved in AVSW was the tight cloths, literally. Ty’s wardrobe is pretty much wetsuit tight. There were random moments of claustrophobia for sure. I would sneak off set and pop a button or two to grab a breath. Just kidding but that’s true.

Actually - It’s the fan reactions that get me. We had a gentleman in his late 80s at the Palm Springs premiere get up out of his wheel chair to thank us at the Q&A after the screening. He was from one of the Dakotas I believe, and told us that growing up gay in that time and place was almost unbearable. To see a film like A Very Sordid Wedding circulating the country gave him A Very Sordid Wedding circulating the country gave him A Very Sordid Wedding a renewed hope.

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Geiger: In these trying times we all could use a little hope.

It’s the personal stories of triumph that have impacted me most. In these trying times we all could use a little hope and healing. AVSW delivers them both with laughter.


And finally, one seasonal wish…please never stop acting. God granted you an amazing gift, generous in nature to us…never lose sight of that…and always use it. You are a very talented beautiful man…and I’m so happy we’ve become friends. xoxo 

Casting Kirk Gieger As “Ty” in Sordid Lives by Del Shores Special to the Las Vegas Night Beat.

Del Shores

In 1996, I was casting my new play “Sordid Lives” in Los Angeles. It was my first time to direct one of my plays and there was the self-pressure of “I must get this right.”

The characters of “Ty” and “Latrelle” were more than loosely based on my mother and myself, having only come out to my family about a year earlier. Yes, my mom did ask me “What exactly is it that you do… when you’re gay?” and “Are you the woman or the man?”

I had auditioned a lot of actors for the role of “Ty”. Since I’m blond, I always had envisioned that character blond. Philece Sampler, our associate producer, recommended a young actor named Kirk Geiger. Kirk was not blond, was dark and handsome, but had the same professional background as “Ty”. He was an actor who had been a soap opera star (“One Life To Live”).

Kirk came in, auditioned with one of the monologues and the coffin scene with “Latrelle”. That day, he earned the role.

When we were casting the film in 1999, a few of the producers wanted me to cast a star for the role of “Ty”. We had all agreed that we should have four names in the film. It was an easy role to plug in, a few days work only, much like the role of “Bitsy Mae” that Olivia Newton-John played. I had secured my friends Beau Bridges and Olivia, but Bonnie Bedelia and Delta Burke had not yet been cast. I was planning to use the original stage “Noleta” Patrika Darbo in the film which is very important to this story.

Many young actors had turned the role down because they were advised not to play “gay”. Some on that list were Robert Downey, Jr., C. Thomas Howell, Noah Wylie and my choice Chris O’Donnell. When Patrika suddenly couldn’t do the film because “Days of Our Lives” wouldn’t allow her to and Chris O’Donnell passed - I had a crazy thought. Get a star to do “Noleta”, then Kirk can play “Ty”. So Kirk and I can thank Patrika, Chris O’Donnell and Delta Burke for him being cast as “Ty” in the film. I can’t imagine the film without him!

After the film was released, I got some flack from the gay community for not casting a gay actor in that role. My response — Kirk was gay the day I cast him in the play. I didn’t ask about his sexuality when he auditioned because that would have been unprofessional, unethical and wrong… just like it would be wrong to ask a gay actor about his sexuality when auditioning for a straight character. When Kirk stepped on to that stage and in front of that camera as “Ty”, he was always very, very gay, and he has never questioned one thing asked of him that was required for the role.

I’m thrilled that Kirk, the original and my favorite “Ty” returned to his role in “A Very Sordid Wedding”. His work once again is perfect. And he’s real gay in this film!

Katarina Leigh Waters and Kirk Geiger were the stand outs for me, embracing the insanity of their Capital Messiah roles. Geiger is so fun to watch as the crazed cult leader, wringing every last drop of delusional madness from the role
Marc Fusion
Morbidly Beautifil