Rialto to host Planned Parenthood benefit
Tempest DuJour addresses the mourning crowd at the Tucson Stands With Orlando Vigil on June 12, 2016. The performer will host The Big Show of (Support!) at the Rialto Theatre on March 4.
Drag queens, jugglers, choir singers, clowns, mimes and more will be featured at “The Very Big Show of (Support!).” This event is far more than a variety show featuring eclectic Tucson performers, it also supports an increasingly relevant social cause.
“The Very Big Show of (Support!)” opens on Saturday, March 4, at 7 p.m. at The Rialto Theatre and will benefit Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Arizona’s local political advocate wing of Planned Parenthood.
The two-hour event hosts a broad cast of Tucson-based performers and featured acts, including Tucson circus troupe Flam Chen, Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons, Katina Murphy from Desert Voices chorus, mariachi from Diana Olivares and comedy from the Unscrewed Theater. The event is presented by The Feinman Family. Child & Family Resources, an organization which provides social services for children in Tucson, is co-presenting this event.
The executive producer of the event, David Hoffman, runs Golden Gravy Productions, a local creative collective that is running the variety show.
Hoffman regularly works with Patrick Holt, who performs as Tempest DuJour, Tucson’s premiere drag queen. Holt was brought on as the master of ceremonies.
“There are plenty of fabulous people who could host a show like this, and I guess because people know me I have some notoriety in the community,” Holt said. “I think it just adds to the fun and festive nature of the atmosphere. It’s a serious cause, but we just want to have a lot of fun.”
Planned Parenthood and Golden Gravy Productions met when their venue at Hotel Congress was double-booked. The event coordinator of the venue asked Golden Gravy if they’d like to piggyback their event on Planned Parenthood’s Rock and Roe concert and turn their retro game show night into a benefit.
Planned Parenthood later reached out to Hoffman and asked if he’d like to help create an event that was more fun than a typical luncheon. Hoffman said he is a huge supporter of Planned Parenthood and that, though he may have never been able to write them a huge, publisher clearing house-sized check, he thought the benefit was one way he could contribute.
“It’s a huge night for the community and for Planned Parenthood, and this event is happening to give us all a sense of celebration and solidarity in these trying times for health care and women’s reproductive rights,” Hoffman said.
Those who buy a ticket will not only be supporting the work that Planned Parenthood does but can also expect a night of family-friendly, entertaining fun. The evening will consist of comedy, music, dance and circus acts, and even Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will attend the event as a special guest.
Planned Parenthood communication specialist Tayler Tucker said they look forward to doing something a little different for the community.
“It’s a way people can come out, be entertained, bring the whole family, have a celebration of the progress Planned Parenthood has made and celebrate the work that we still have to come,” Tucker said.
Hoffman is excited for the event because Tucson is known for having a diverse community of artists and performers.
“This is how we come together and raise funds and awareness, in a very fun and positive way,” he said. “We want people to get on their feet and sing and dance along, and I’m not sure how many fundraisers can do that with their audience.”
While this event aims to support a political agenda in women’s rights, the festivities and atmosphere are far from political.
The goal of The Very Big Show of Support is to host an event focused on fun and having a great time, without any of the gloom and glum that can accompany politics.
“If there is something we can do to help, we will,” Holt said. “Tucson is such a giving and altruistic community, and that’s one of the things I love about being here, and I’ve always made that a part of who I am and who Tempest is ...”
Tickets for this event are available now. Students, senior citizens, military and those under 30 can purchase a $25 special ticket. Regular tickets are $50.
For more information, visit The Rialto or www.TheVeryBigShow.com.
For information regarding Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, visit www.advocatesaz.org.
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