How many of you have made a “Golden Girls Pact” with your best friends? A solid plan for your golden years that entails gathering at a Florida condo and living out the rest of your lives together just as Rose, Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia did?
This writer currently has about five of those pacts in play — just to be safe — and often finds herself perusing real estate listings in Miami.
The critically acclaimed, touching and funny sitcom “The Golden Girls” ran from 1985-1992 and still continues to garner praise and new fans as it plays over and over in syndication. It starred Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty.
Each spring, Girls Rock Louisville hosts a fundraiser, and as organizers were batting around ideas for a theme, somehow “The Golden Girls” got tossed into the mix and immediately sealed the deal. On Wednesday, April 5, the “Golden Girls Rock Louisville” fundraiser will celebrate classic moments of the TV show while also raising funds for the nonprofit that empowers girls and gender nonconforming youth through music.
The event, which takes place at Kaiju, will feature favorite “Golden Girls” episodes, trivia, a costume contest, free cheesecake and many discussions on who your favorite character was and how Blanche Devereaux managed to make 70 look cool. The overarching theme, however, of both the show and Wednesday’s benefit is friendship — and fun.
Terri Whitehouse, board member and president of Girls Rock Louisville, says the show encapsulates many of the organization’s values and visions.
“One of the things we talk about in the Girls Rock Louisville camp song is about how we are there to build each other up and not tear each other down, and I feel like for all the zingers and one-liners thrown at each other, the ‘Golden Girls’ characters ultimately do uplift one another,” she says.
The show also was quite groundbreaking for its day, addressing issues of aging, sex, transphobia, racism, single parenting and more. Whitehouse believes it was able to tackle these issues with a proper balance of sensitivity and humor.
“It never really hit you over the head with ‘this is a very special episode,'” she says. “Further, it also redefined family. I live two hours from my family, so I have come to think of my friends here in town as my people. Everyone needs a loving support system, and sometimes you just have to make your own.”
If she had to choose a favorite character, Whitehouse says it would be Blanche.
“She’s stubborn, Southern, loves her daddy, and, despite her sexual openness, fears abandonment more than just about anything,” she says.
Whitehouse knows there’s an underground circuit of “Golden Girls” fans in Louisville, and she hopes they’ll come out to play trivia, watch the show and mingle with others — all for a good cause.
This writer once had the opportunity to interview Bea Arthur (who played Dorothy) when she came through town in a one-woman show. Asked if all the characters were on “Survivor” (hey, it was the early 2000s), who would win, she didn’t hesitate and said Sophia, hands down.
Whitehouse has another opinion.
“I think Stan would win, because he always comes back despite everyone’s best efforts,” she says.
“Golden Girls Rock Louisville” runs from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. on Wednesday, April 5. Episodes will begin airing at 6, and trivia will start between 6:30 and 7. There’s a suggested donation of $3-$5, and it’s $2 to participate in trivia. Kaiju is located at 1004 E. Oak St.