a film by Sheldon Larry
2011 | 101 mins | US - Canada
›› Leave It on the Floor
a song 'n' dance insight into the flamboyant costume ballroom scene.
Leave It on the Floor by Sheldon Larry
Adapted Synopsis:-

Thrown out of the family home by his heartless mother, just for being gay, dance ace and all round cutie Brad steals her car to head off to the bright lights of Los Angeles, where by chance he encounters the colourful members of the struggling House of Eminence.

Led by indomitable house mother Queef Latina, herself an aging ball legend ever protective of her children, Brad whose first thoughts are for a place to sleep and perhaps someone to share his bed with, is soon to find himself immersed in the world of sex sirens, butch queens and sparkle, that is the competitive LA ballroom scene.
Leave It on the Floor by Sheldon Larry
Dave Says:-

Overflowing with more enthusiasm and sheer energy than the national grid, this big-hearted production is everything you would expect from a musical whose choreography is courtesy of no other than Beyonce's dance master, Frank Gatson Jr.

Yet and in as much as Sheldon Larry of Noah's Arc fame is the man sitting in the director's chair, this feature is in reality a collaborative effort, with Glenn Gaylord of Eating Out: All You Can Eat credit not only writing both the story (with Larry) and the all too thin screenplay, but the lyrics to its production numbers too. True, and as with any musical, the songs vary in style and here Kimberly Burse's score ranges from poignant ballads to a variety of musical influences, including naturally the sounds of hip-hop and house; hit and miss musical notes that mirror the human emotions of self-pity, heartbreak to outright pride. Yet possibly the one song that cuts to the core the most, is the aptly titled "His Name Is Shawn," a moving number concerned with identity; that of blood relations versus your adopted family and from your birth name, to the name of your transgendered self.

Sure, the end result is an "in the hood" production; an African-American musical bursting at the seams with fabulous costumes, choreographed dance routines, dynamic vocals, let alone a cast of man-candy who are all too easy on the eye, even if their buffed to perfection abs is as far as the camera goes. And yet behind all of the glitter and high heels, that of the catwalks and the posing, a serious message is to be had, one that is summarized in a heartfelt dedication to "the thousands of gay and transgendered kids in this country who are still thrown out, or who run away from oppressive circumstance," very few of whom would be lucky enough to find a house, as the like of the House of Eminence.

Not that this is a downbeat film. Far from it. For sandwiched between the inherent desire to win the ever glittering ballroom trophy and here cue Jennie Livingston's documentary Paris is Burning, this dazzling work sets out to entertain you, as Brad finds himself the object of desire between rival sisters. That the cast shine, is perhaps of no real surprise, given most have spent their formative years training in the art of singing, acting and dance, with Broadway actor Ephraim Sykes vibrant in the role of hunky Brad, whilst Phillip Evelyn and Barbie-Q, both on sparkling form as the Princess and Queef Latina of the piece, are soon to be seen in Simon Savory's eagerly anticipated debut feature Bruno & Earlene Go to Vegas. But going to LA, this makes for a glamorous, if at times expletive laden song 'n' dance insight into the flamboyant subculture that is the costume ballroom scene, one that is as energetic, as it is feel-good fun. Need more be said?

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue: 10.September.2012 / UK.
available on DVD as part of the Wolfe Video catalogue: 14.August.2012 / US.
screened as part of the 26th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 2012.
principal players: Ephraim Sykes / Brad, Andre Myers / Carter, Phillip Evelyn / Princess, James Alsop / Eppie Durall,
Cameron Koa / Duke, Miss Barbie-Q / Queef Latina, Demarkes Dogan / Caldwell Jones, Lady Red Couture /
Christina Allure, Roxy Wood / Roxy Glam, DJ Fatha Julz / MC at the 1st and 3rd Ball,
Hailie Weaver / Hailie Allure and Metra Dee as Brad's mother, Deondra Lyle.
cameo appearance by Glenn Gaylord as a "Bum."
Loser's List | Ballroom Bliss | I'm Willing | Justin's Gonna Call | Knock Them Mothaf*kk***s Down
Don't Jump Baby | This Is My Lament | Black Love | Black Love (reprise) | His Name Is Shawn
Loser's List (reprise) | Leave It on the Floor.
dedicated to "the thousands of gay and transgendered kids in this country who are still thrown out,
or who run away from oppressive circumstance. Seeking to find new places to belong,
they are all fierce and fabulous. We celebrate everyone."
official website:
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #523
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