LIHUE — The one place where Leslie Jordan hasn’t performed his one-man comedy show, “Straight outta Chattanooga,” is Hawaii.
“I was very grateful when I reached out to his manager’s company because his manager got back to me and said that it was a little ironic because Leslie said to his manager during a lunch a little while back, ‘You know where I’ve never been? I’ve never been to Hawaii.’ And his manager was able to tell him, that they just got an inquiry from Kauai Hospice,” said Lori Miller, executive director of Kauai Hospice.
The Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Monday at Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center.
“I’m gonna tell a lot of stories with comedy,” Jordan said. “The only problem is going to get me to shut up after 90 minutes.”
All of the proceeds will go to Kauai Hospice and the nonprofit’s efforts to better people’s lives and help those who need assistance.
“We were beginning to think outside the box to raise awareness about hospice and to get people to know about hospice and the services we provide here on Kauai and to give people the opportunity to laugh,” Miller said. “And this comedy show is going to be one that you won’t want to miss.”
Miller and Jordan met in the 90s, backstage at a show, and she instantly fell in love with his comedy and ability to spread a meaningful message.
“I was struck by his ability to use humor in some of the darkest and saddest times to bring awareness to some of the serious subjects,” Miller said.
Miller, who lost her brother to AIDs, hopes that Jordan’s ability to use laughter in times of grief can help people overcome the dark times.
“If there’s anything that I know for sure, it’s that laughter is the best of medicine,” Miller said. “I think we could all use a laugh. It’s the end of the year, so let’s try to find some joy in it.”
The name Leslie Jordan may not be familiar to most, but he’s a character actor who has appeared on hit television shows such as “American Horror Story” and even won an Emmy for his role as Beverly Leslie on the show “Will and Grace.”
The comedy show that he will be bringing to Lihue is unique, a 90-minute performance that Miller describes as “nonstop laughter.”
“It’s important to not make light of the seriousness of the work that we do here, but to allow humor and times for release of laughter,” she said.
The show is open to the public but does have adult content, so Miller encourages only those who are 17 or 18 and older to attend.
“The story is his own,” Miller said. “He uses himself throughout to talk about growing up in the South and being bullied and making his way through theater and out to Los Angeles and Hollywood. He recounts his journey through storytelling. But he has very few filters.”
General admission is $25 and premier seating is $45. A meet and greet opportunity is available before the show with premier seating for $75.
Tickets are on sale at the door and at www.kauaihospice.org.