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‘Lost’ Finds Humor in Search for the Self

Leslie Jordan’s new play “Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel” at Theatre/Theater is an autobiographical retrospective detailing the youthful Jordan’s flight from his Southern small town to the “gay and lesbian mecca” of Atlanta.

Jordan, who plays the drag queen Brother Boy in Del Shores’ “Sordid Lives” at the same venue, here takes on the role of the Storyteller (transparently himself), a closeted homosexual in search of sexual autonomy. Jordan’s could be a companion piece to Shores’ play--except the humor is far darker than in Shores’ rambunctious farce.

Set primarily in the ‘70s, the play concerns the drug-fueled antics of the Storyteller and his new street pal, Miss Make Do (Erin Chandler). At first, disco rules, but as drugs usurp the throne, the two inexorably descend into addiction and depravity.

Don’t let all this existential angst scare you off. This is--initially at least--a full-blown comedy, with a throbbing music track of period pop. Director John Owen beautifully re-creates the heat and beat of the period, and the cast, which includes Mark Pellegrino and William Butler, is first-rate.

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Ever the gritty survivor, Jordan imbues his reminiscences with a dangerously seductive nostalgia. Still, although seldom moralistic, Jordan’s tale is a cautionary peep into the labyrinthine corridors that the youthfully confused and recreationally foolish may enter.

* “Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel,” Theatre/Theater, 1713 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Today, 8 p.m.; then Thursdays, 8 p.m. Ends Aug. 1. (213) 660-8587. $15. Running time: 2 hours.


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