For Immediate Release
Los Angeles, CA (May 21, 2014) – A company of more than 2 dozen stars of film, stage and television brought a sold out house to their feet at the historic Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on Saturday, May 10th, for the 30th Anniversary Spectacular presentation, “S.T.A.G.E. Goes to the Movies.” (www.stagela.com) This one-night-only Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.) raised close to $275,000 for HIV/AIDS direct care, education, and advocacy services offered by AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). Since the first S.T.A.G.E. show in 1984, the event has featured more than 300 stars raising nearly $7 million for APLA and other Southern California AIDS service organizations. Before the show began, Director David Galligan was presented with APLA’s Crystal Apple Award, the organization’s highest honor.
“All of us here at AIDS Project Los Angeles are thrilled with this year’s S.T.A.G.E. event, and funds raised will help so many in our community who have nowhere else to turn. Thank you to the entire committee for pulling off yet another successful event,” said Craig E. Thompson, Executive Director.
S.T.A.G.E. marked its 30th production with a new theme: “S.T.A.G.E. Goes to the Movies,” which showcased the stellar cast performing popular musical numbers and featuring film clips from 100 years of American cinema. The constellation of stars gathered for this year’s show included OBBA BABATUNDE, RONA BARRETT, TOM BERKLUND, MARY BETH BLACK, DEBBY BOONE, BETTY BUCKLEY, RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN, CAROLE COOK, DAVID ENGEL, JULIE GARNYE’, MITZI GAYNOR, JASON GOULD, BILL HUTTON, HEATHER MacRAE, JON MAHER, PAT MARSHALL, DONNA McKECHNIE, PATRICIA MORISON, JEFFREY SCOTT PARSONS, HELEN REDDY, REX REED, JAKE SIMPSON, KEVIN SPIRTAS and MARY WILSON.
Hosted by acclaimed film historian Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, and featuring appearances by noted celebrity journalists Rona Barrett and Rex Reed, “S.T.A.G.E. Goes to the Movies” was a vibrant celebration of all things cinema. Tony® Award-winning actress Betty Buckley opened and closed the show with evocative performances of “As If We Never Said Goodbye” from the musical Sunset Boulevard, and the timeless ballad “Memory” from Cats. Grammy® Award winner Helen Reddy performed “Candle on the Water” from the film Pete’s Dragon, Tony® Award winner Donna McKechnie shared a song, dance and personal experience with the legendary Fred Astaire. Shirley Jones reminisced about starring in the great movie musicals Oklahoma! and Carousel and then enjoyed Heather MacRae’s performance of “Surrey With the Fringe On Top,” originally sung by her father, Gordon MacRae. Grammy® Award winner Debby Boone crooned “It Might As Well Be Spring” from State Fair which her father, Pat Boone, sang in the film.
Emmy® Award-winning Mitzi Gaynor had the audience in a lather with her sailor-costumed performance of “Honey Bun” and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair” from South Pacific, while Jeffrey Scott Parsons and David Engel brought to contemporary life the great tap dance number “Begin the Beguine” from Broadway Melody of 1940, made famous by Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire. Jake Simpson proved why he’s a two-time “Star Search” winner bringing a modern edge to “You Don’t Know What Love Is” from Behind the Eight Ball, and Mary Wilson was Supreme singing “Here’s To Life” from Full Metal Jacket. SiriusXM Radio host Frank DeCaro led a spirited live auction at intermission that also secured pledges dedicated to bringing APLA clients a proper Thanksgiving dinner. The show was directed, as it has been for three decades, by David Galligan, and John McDaniel returned as music director.
Funds raised through S.T.A.G.E. support APLA programs including its Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; freestanding and mobile dental clinics; in-home health services; housing assistance; HIV prevention and testing efforts; and a range of other APLA services that thousands of Angelenos affected by HIV/AIDS depend on. S.T.A.G.E. is among the most enduring and valuable sources of private support for the agency’s HIV/AIDS care, prevention, and advocacy work. www.apla.org
AIDS Project Los Angeles, one of the largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the United States, provides bilingual direct care and treatment services to over 7,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles annually and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. In 2013, APLA marked its 30th year of operation, and we are a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach.
APLA Health & Wellness is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing primary medical care, oral healthcare, mental health services, HIV testing, STD screening/ treatment and health education and HIV prevention services targeting low income gay and bisexual men of color and transgender individuals. APLA Health & Wellness serves over 6,000 individuals across Los Angeles County each year.
For more information, visit apla.org.