Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

COVID-19 has dimmed the lights of Broadway until May 2021, but the work of Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) goes on unimpeded. Thousands of writers, actors, musicians, stagehands, lighting experts, and all the other multi-talented people it takes to put on a Broadway show find themselves unemployed. But for BC/EFA, “The show must go on,” and indeed it does with fresh offerings for your holiday gift giving.

BC/EFA’s “Legends” series of holiday ornaments, honoring the delicious divas who have graced a Broadway stage, has been immensely popular since its introduction in 2008. “Legends” is a series of collectable hand-made glass ornaments depicting legendary Broadway divas in their signature roles. In past years they have honored Carol Burnett, Barbra Streisand, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, and two years ago, everyone’s favorite gravel-voiced diva Harvey Fierstein!

Glenn Close

Tell Me More: With one look you’ll know exactly who the latest Broadway Legend is. Donning her signature turban and Art Deco-inspired cloak, the fabulous Tony Award-winner Glenn Close as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard will add sophisticated glamour to your holiday decor. Like all the other ornaments in the series, this was designed by Glen Hanson and the Christopher Radko Company exclusively for BC/EFA.

In addition to the “Legends” series, BC/EFA offers myriad options for year-round gift-giving: clothing, jewelry, music, tote bags, and a new set of collectable ornaments featuring Playbill covers from the longest-running musicals in Broadway history. The newly designed entries in this annual series are Grease, Dear Evan Hansen, The Sound of Music, Me and My Girl, How to succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Waitress.

How Much: You can adorn your holiday tree with Glenn Close for just $65; the Playbill ornaments are available in sets of six for $50.

Who Benefits: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. Since 1988, BC/EFA has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses. Utilizing the unique talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, BC/EFA is the major supporter of the essential social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, and The Friedman Health Center. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS organizations in all 50 states. BC/EFA programs also include Classical Action (recruiting classical, opera, and jazz performers to raise funds) and Dancers Responding to AIDS. Each purchase allows Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS to further their mission of helping those affected by HIV and AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses.

How to Order: For the Glenn Close ornament, the Playbill ornaments, or any of the other dozens of items BC/EFA offers, go to or call 212-840-0770 ext 238 to place an order.

Good Cheer to All!

Celebrating the Holidays during a raging pandemic might be, well, a little awkward for all of us this year. “Making merry” and spreading “good cheer” might seem incongruous, even disrespectful, in a year when hundreds of thousands of our countrymen have perished from COVID-19 and several million more have been infected. It may be difficult to open our bruised and battered hearts enough to let in the spirit of giving.

But I remember many years during the height of the AIDS pandemic when we lived with even more death and chaos than we’ve lived with this year. I remember years when the Holiday season was filled with more funerals and memorials than holiday parties. And still, every year, even the worst years, we gathered our friends and families together for Holiday meals; we ooh’d and ahh’d over gifts we exchanged with each other; we popped open the champagne bottles and toasted our friends, living and gone. We did these things because we needed them——we needed these rituals to show ourselves that despite all the death and chaos that engulfed us, there is still Love in the world, that it is still possible to find or make Joy in our lives, that mourning our dead and celebrating Life are not mutually exclusive.

We surely need those rituals this year!

And so, we here at A&U continue our tradition of spotlighting holiday gifts that perform double duty—they will charm and delight the recipient of the gifts, of course, but they will also raise much-needed funds for HIV/AIDS organizations and charities. From silly and campy to luxurious and fashionable, in every price range, the gifts highlighted here are sure to warm even the most battered hearts. We hope you will enjoy giving them as much as your friends will enjoy receiving them.

We wish all of you a joyous, heart-centered Holiday Season filled with love and good cheer. Now go out there and make merry!
—Hank Trout

Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.