An independent film with a fabulous flair has been released and it has ties to Central Florida. My Fair Lidy, a film by Sandwoman Films and Treat Yourself Films, had its world premiere at the StarLite Film Festival on January 23 at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden.
The comedy/drama revolves around a blue-collar macho man, Craig Lideman (“Lidy”, played by Christopher Backus, actor and husband of actress Mira Sorvino), who by chance meets a drag performer, Miss Sal, and as a result of that meeting, he falls into a job opportunity he couldn’t possibly predict — impersonating Marlene Dietrich! The themes of acceptance and change are prevalent throughout the film.
Hotspots got a chance to speak to Leigh Shannon, the Orlando drag legend who plays Miss Sal in the film.
How did you get involved in the production of this film? You were not only a star, but a consultant; what kind of consulting did you provide?
I was hired as a consultant on the film early on. Sandi Bell, the executive producer, approached me; she was told by Grady Bishop to get me on board with this special project. So I read the script and soon becamce a producer on the film as well. The director, Ralph Clemente, Sandi Bell and I did some rewrites, did casting and I found the lead roles of Mr./Miss Sal were still open. They then suggested I audition for them. I did, and I beat out a Broadway star.
I also helped get the locations that were all local to participate, like Shakers Cafe, Parliament House, Ritzy Rags Wigs & More, Stetson Mansion, and more. My whole show cast from Leigh Shannon’s Illusions In Revue were cast in the film as well: Page King, Crystle Chambers, Mercedes Deverore, and Tia Devine. Other local drag queens cast were Susan Whitney, Darcel Stevens, Melissa Mason, April Fresh and drag king Spykey Van Dykey. Local hair salon Copperhead and Joe Riedley did all the hair for Chris and myself.
This was my first movie. I have always been a female impersonator/comedian and now I hope to do a lot more acting. I have a reality show in the works called “Who the HELL is Leigh Shannon?” that is being pitched and will deal with my life. But I hope to also produce a play on My Fair Lidy in the future.
What’s your favorite scene in the movie, and why?
My favorite scene in the movie is when I tell Lidy to follow his dreams in the dressing room after he is mad about having to dress up to entertain. It is a heartfelt scene and I feel it’s my best scene of emotion.
See the trailer at http://youtu.be/VzcH9H7pdVk
My Fair Lidy will be available for viewing online via Netflix and Hulu starting next month, and you will also be able to purchase it on DVD. Check www.leighshannon.com for updates. Leigh Shannon currently performs her “Cabaret Dinner Show” and “Illusions In Revue” at Hamburger Mary’s on Church Street in downtown Orlando; her shows have sold out every Saturday for the past five years.
MY FAIR LIDY
STARRING: Christopher Backus, Leigh Shannon, Rus Blackwell
WRITTEN BY: R.P. Simms
DIRECTED BY: Ralph R. Clemente
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Sandi Bell
CO-PRODUCERS: Ralph R. Clemente, Leigh Shannon