It was 1996 when Dayton’s ‘To Care is to Cure,’ an all-night drag show that incorporated the local gay bars, came to end. The show, which had been a mainstay, at one time featured local drag celebrities hopping on a bus and performing all around the city. It was the end of an era, in a sense, but it wasn’t the end of HIV as so many had hoped.
Enter the RubiGirls…an organization made for fund-raising! ‘We were well into our ‘gig’ when TCITC decided to stop their performances. Josh Stucky, (AKA Dana Sintell), who had been on those buses doing those shows thought maybe, just maybe, the RubiGirls could take that event and move it forward in a different way. It would be a fundraiser by the RubiGirls for local HIV organizations, only it would be in one location like a production.He was on to something! From the first one up to today, The Show Must Go On has been a sell-out, bringing in ten of thousands of dollars over the years for all kinds of organizations!’ Says one-time RubiQueen Lupe Valezz.
This year, the show takes place at the historic Dayton Arcade. ‘It was so incredible last year to be the first big production at the Arcade since its re-opening. We were overwhelmed!’ Says India Summer (aka Brent Johnson.) Despite some sound issues, which we think we have remedied, it was one spectacular night. Coming out of COVID, it felt good to be with our people again!’ And people were there! The Show Must Go On brings in huge crowds, over 600 attended at the old Coliseum at the fairgrounds a few years ago. ‘It is supposed to be a holiday event, and it is in some ways, but ever-Rubi, it’s really a FUN-raieser!’
Speaking of fun-raisers, Stucky, one of. the original RubiGirls still performing (the other is the beloved Tim Farquhar, aka Fonda Peters) remembers those ‘old days.’ ‘In the days of ‘To Care is To Cure,’ we were losing friends monthly and the crisis was so real, so close that we had to do something. Big name Queens like Ashley West, Mona Dez, Amanda Kane and of course, Misty Knight were like our trusted leaders! I learned much from them that carries our RubiMission through today!’
The Show Must Go On has become, for many, a holiday tradition! Where some see the Saturday after Thanksgiving as the OSU-MICHIGAN game, others gather their friends and family for a night of laughs with the RubiGirls.
This being the Silver Anniversary of the big show, the RubiGirls are promising some favorite performances, some nice new numbers and of course, those naughty games! Farquhar had this advise for the new RubiFans attending, ‘Bring your besties, grab a cocktail, sit back and allow yourself a night of mayhem and memories!’
Stucky went on to remind us ‘This is a benefit. Out largest of the year. You will meet our RubiScholarship recipients and see the now-famous video of the beneficiaries we will sponsor in 2023…70 organizations in total! It’s just amazing!’
Some tickets remain for the BIG PRODUCTION! You can buy them at therubigirls.com. You will also see ways to donate to their scholarship on their webpage!