Premium Content:

On This Gay Day | Broadway delivered ‘Sweet Charity’ AIDS fundraiser

Broadway stars took to the stage on this day in 1998 for a special one-off performance of the musical Sweet Charity to raise funds for AIDS/HIV research and support.

Several actresses who had played the lead role in the past shared the stage for a full staging of the musical. Chita Rivera, Bebe Neuwirth, Donna McKechnie, Debbie Allen and Gwen Verdon all took to the stage.

- Advertisement -

It was Verdon’s final stage performance. She passed away two years later after she suffered a heart-attack aged 75.

Verdon was the first actor to play to the role when the musical made it’s debut in 1966. It was choreographed and directed by her husband Bob Fosse. A film version was created the following year with Shirley MacLaine playing Charity.

The charity performance was staged by the group Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS who have gone on to have a series of regular events that continue to raise important funds.

Their Easter Bonnet programs sees Broadway shows collect money in red buckets for six weeks each year, while the annual Broadway Bares show sees performers perform strip-teases while singing well-know show tunes.

Another popular event is Broadway Backwards which see performers take on songs usually performed by people of the opposite gender. The 2023 edition saw Corbin Bleu performing Mein Herr from Cabaret and while Bonnie Milligan took on One Day More from Les Misérables.

Since being founded in 1988 the organisation has raised over $300 million for critically needed services for people living with HIV.


Classic queer drama ‘The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love’ came out in 1995

In the mid-90’s the indie film The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love found a lot of fans in a time when queer dramas were not common.

The film was written and directed by Maria Maggenti and stared Laurel Holloman and Nicole Ari Parker. It told the story of two high school aged girls from different backgrounds who fall in love.

Holman would go on to play Tina Kennard in The L Word and sequel series The L Word: Generation Q, while Parker has recently been on screens playing Lisa Todd Wexley in Sex and the City spin-off And Just Like That…

The film has its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1995, before getting a wider US release on 16th June. The film would arrive in Australia in March 1996.

Director Maria Maggenti, who is bisexual, was a core member of activist group ACT UP in New York who campaigned for action on AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s.

She’s gone on to write screenplays for romantic comedies and also worked on the long running TV series Without a Trace. She’s directed several other feature films over the years including the 2006 film Puccini for Beginners.

Latest

Actor Shannen Doherty, star of ‘Charmed’ and ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ dies aged 53

The actor had battled cancer for many years and publicly shared her struggle.

Fresh Tracks | The latest tunes worth checking out

New music featuring Kylie Minogue, Bebe Rexha, Tove Lo, Orville Peck and Beck, and many more.

On This Gay Day: Marriage equality was passed in England

Britain's parliament passes laws allowing same-sex marriage on this day in 2013.

Christian lobbyist Wendy Francis announces her retirement

The ACL staffer has been a vocal opponent to drag queens, marriage equality and conversion therapy bans.

Newsletter

Don't miss

Actor Shannen Doherty, star of ‘Charmed’ and ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ dies aged 53

The actor had battled cancer for many years and publicly shared her struggle.

Fresh Tracks | The latest tunes worth checking out

New music featuring Kylie Minogue, Bebe Rexha, Tove Lo, Orville Peck and Beck, and many more.

On This Gay Day: Marriage equality was passed in England

Britain's parliament passes laws allowing same-sex marriage on this day in 2013.

Christian lobbyist Wendy Francis announces her retirement

The ACL staffer has been a vocal opponent to drag queens, marriage equality and conversion therapy bans.

Fitness guru Richard Simmons dead at 76

His death comes just a day after he celebrated his birthday.

Actor Shannen Doherty, star of ‘Charmed’ and ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ dies aged 53

The actor had battled cancer for many years and publicly shared her struggle.

Fresh Tracks | The latest tunes worth checking out

New music featuring Kylie Minogue, Bebe Rexha, Tove Lo, Orville Peck and Beck, and many more.

On This Gay Day: Marriage equality was passed in England

Britain's parliament passes laws allowing same-sex marriage on this day in 2013.