Saturday, June 27, 2015|11:49 a.m.
. We understand HIV/AIDS by that title, however there are millions of other names connected to the illness.
For performer Edie of “Zumanity” at New York-New York, Joe is one such name. He was among Edie’s earliest and closest friends in the dance community in Rose city, where both toiled for Ballet Oregon.
“I was 19 or 20 and didn’t understand much about anything, and Joe went off to New york city to dance in the Joffrey Ballet,” Edie, known famously as “The Girlfriend of Sensuality,” stated during a recent telephone call. “I wished to go, too, however I was too scared to go to New york city. But Joe went, and wound up struggling as a student and entered a world he had not been prepared for.”
Joe went to work at a male strip club, far removed from his goal of ending up being an extremely trained ballet performer.
“He slowly got provided money to do specific things that had nothing to do with dance, he contracted HIV very rapidly and passed away really rapidly,” Edie said. “Treatments at that time were not good, or not as excellent as they are now, and it was ravaging. Damaging.”
Edie also keeps in mind another pal who worked in Chicago a short time after that tragedy, who likewise contracted HIV and just disappeared from his circle of friends.
“I ‘d call his residence and his moms and dads told me, ‘Do not call right here once more,'” Edie stated. “He just went off to die.”
As the cross-dressing comic host of “Zumanity,” Edie is hosting the Golden Rainbow “Ribbon of Life” charity program once again this year. The show is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Tropicana Theater (tickets are $45 and offered at www.goldenrainbow.org, which links to the Trop ticket website, and also at the Tropicana ticket office).
Edie is co-emceeing with Fox 5’s Sean McAllister. The program is usually stacked with talent from throughout the VegasVille landscape, with efficiencies produced specifically for this event. Joining the fray are artists from “Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers,” “Jubilee,” “Jersey Boys,” “Million Dollar Quartet,” “MJ Live,” “Legends in Show,” “Pin Up,” “Vegas! The Show,” Mangy Home entertainment, the Celeb City Chorus and Residence Seats Provides.
Clint Holmes, Pia Zadora, magician Jan Rouven and singer Philip Drennen are among the individual entertainers who have actually signed on. This efficiency marks the 29th yearly installation of the show, as it has actually boomeranged around the city in such locations as the old Las Vegas Hilton, Paris Las Vegas Theater, Bally’s, the Smith Center and, last year, the Rio.
Edie has actually hosted so often that he’s lost track; we counted up to a half-dozen appearances for him, in character.
“I love, love, enjoy, volunteering for this program,” Edie said. “For all of the performers, who are so hectic doing our own shows currently, to come together for this amazing cause is truly fantastic. We’ve all lost buddies since of HIV/AIDS; now we have all been touched by it. However the awareness and treatment has advanced exceptionally for many years, and there are numerous people who have actually contracted HIV but have been living regular lives for a long period of time.”
However there remains no cure, and this charity event is Golden Rainbow’s chief fundraiser each year. The organization offers funding and care for those who are dealing with the condition. As part of the organization’s lore, Golden Rainbow’s charity show was stimulated by a member of the Vegas home entertainment neighborhood who was banished to his garage after his household learned he had actually contracted HIV. That is where he invested his last days.
“That story reminds me a lot of what I experienced in my life,” Edie stated. “We have actually come a very long method, however we can’t forget, and we have to exist to aid, always.”