Jai Rodriguez isn’t a household name. Yet you know his face from his Emmy winning work on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”
But Rodriguez’ career doesn’t begin or end with his tenure on “Queer.”
He’s returning to his roots in more ways than one as he comes back to San Francisco to the wonderful Society Cabaret in a musical solo show he calls “Dirty Little Secrets.” Rodriguez plans to air his dirty laundry on Sept. 26 and 27.
Kind of a revamp of an Off-Broadway show he did about a decade ago with Rosie Perez playing his mother, Rodriguez will tell his life’s journey in songs and stories at Society Cabaret.
“This is kind of an R-rated show on my life,” says Rodriguez, as he shares his stories. “Think of ‘Glee’ but with an edge.”
He adds that “it’s the same show he did in New York but it’s been updated to what’s happened since.” This has also given him a chance to modernism some of the song selections that best represent times and aspects of his life.
When you see the handsome Rodriguez, you might recall him from the TV’s “Queer Eye” which was such a phenomenon that it even caught him off guard. “I was a last minute replacement,” he recalls. “I thought we’d just do it for one season.” But he was wrong as it went on for several years and won Rodriguez his Emmy.
Many of his TV fans might not know that Rodriguez is an accomplished stage actor having played in “Rent” for five years on Broadway and had a successful run as the title character in the Off-Broadway musical “Zanna Don’t.”
When “Queer Eye” was renewed for a second season, Rodriguez spent as much time as he could juggling doing the TV show and “Zanna” but after awhile it took its toll. “I got physically and emotionally exhausted,” he says, “so I took a hiatus from ‘Zanna’ which ended up closing soon after I left.”
Rodriguez is excited to make his Society Cabaret debut. He first met the theatre’s Director of Entertainment G. Scott Lacy when Lacy became a fan of Rodriguez’ work. But soon a friendship developed which lead to long talks about working together.
“I am excited about returning to San Francisco,” Rodriguez says. “I’ve been here many times in a lot of charitable events including the AIDS Walk, Richmond Ermet’s Help is on the Way concerts and even was a commentator on a gay pride parade once,” he says.
He says that he would love for this concert to be successful so that he can hopefully return and make more appearances at Society Cabaret and spend more time in San Francisco.
To get tickets and more information, go to www.societycabaret.com.