In the world of the iconic mustachioed director John Waters, both nothing and everything are fabulous. Grandmas lovingly but delusionally converse with religious status, and a jail for delinquent youth is a perfectly fine place for a song and dance. None of the protagonists in his movies is wealthy or conventionally beautiful, yet they happily rule their own low-brow fiefdoms, usually coming out ahead in true underdog style.
Critics have dubbed Waters’ style things like “trash cinema,” and as a whole, his oeuvre serves as both almost a warning against and a love letter to his hometown of Baltimore; the kind of love-hate-but-more-love view that South Florida natives can probably particularly appreciate.
But while fans know plenty about the particular world Waters has created in front of the camera, the director himself has spent time only occasionally in the spotlight. So in the mid-’00s, he created his own one-man performance, This Filthy World, which he debuted at New York City’s Harry DeJour Playhouse. Like many other one-person shows, it’s autobiographical, exploring his history of “otherness” through anecdotes and humor. But while the original production was captured as-is for a DVD of the same name, Waters has rarely performed it live.
Consider it a special treat then that on Saturday, July 28 he’ll haul the show out again in, of all places, South Florida, thanks to Strong Reaction Booking’s Mark Pollack. He’s best known in the area for booking bands, but this event provides a nice multimedia change of pace for big Waters fans with lots of questions, and perhaps a little patience.
An Evening With John Waters: A Filthy World at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale marks a several-hour bang for your admission buck. It kicks off at 7 p.m. with an introduction by Salty Eggs’ own resident cultural critic, Brandon K. Thorp. (By the way, we’re co-sponsors of the event, too, along with Radio-Active Records.) At 7:20, then, there’s a screening of Waters’ 1981 comedy Polyester, famous for drag diva Divine’s turn as bored B-more housewife Francine Fishpaw. Waters’ live performance of This Filthy World follows at 9, wrapped up at the end with a Q&A session.
This marks Waters’ only Florida performance of the show, and depending on which tier of admission you pick, there are some other bonuses as well. General admission is $36.50, $46.50, or $61.50, depending on the section. A VIP package for $125, though, gets you seating in the first three rows, an after-show meet and greet, food and wine, a hardcover copy of Waters’ book Role Models, and the option to get it signed. Tickets are on sale now via parkerplayhouse.com and browardcenter.org.
An Evening With John Waters: A Filthy World. Doors open at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 28 at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE 8th St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $36.50 to $125. Call 954-462-0222, or visit parkerplayhouse.com.