The event: The 14th annual Big Splash, an all-wet, all-volunteer musical spoof featuring lip-syncing and "un-synchronized" swimming to benefit the AIDS Services Foundation Orange County. The show took place Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the backyard pool of the Laguna Beach home of ASF board members Al Roberts and Ken Jillson.
Jungle boogie: Called "Splashin' on Safari," the show centered on a wacky safari complete with jungle boys, Masai-style warriors and some strange animals at Club Hippo Hop, to recorded music by Phyllis Diller, Morgan Fairchild, Whoopi Goldberg and Henry Winkler. The biggest crowd pleasers: The Aquanettes--a mostly male troupe with hairy legs and ill-fitting bathing suits. The 36-member cast ranged in age from 10 to 82. "The magic of Splash is the incredible
diversity of the cast members," said Jillson, who wrote, produced and starred in the production. "And they all want a synchronized spot."
Making waves: Based in Irvine, the AIDS Services Foundation offers a variety of no-cost programs to more than 1,000 men, women and children in Orange County affected by AIDS. Jillson, Roberts and 10 others founded the organization 14 years ago with $33,000 from the first Splash. Since then, the outlandish pool party has raised $3.5 million. Among ASF client services: emergency financial assistance, a food bank, home care, counseling, therapy groups and transportation.
Quote: "Historically, we've provided treatment and care. Now we're getting more into prevention," said Dan Gleason, executive director of ASF. "It's a much more targeted approach. We're going to people who have the virus and aiming HIV-prevention programs at high-risk" groups.
Bottom line: Splash was expected to net $450,000 for ASF. Proceeds will be used for client services and prevention programs.
Faces: Al Roberts, ASF president; Jon Benecke, vice president; Charlie and Joann Moothard and their children Charles and Caty, show volunteers; Nathan Green, Jim Loomis, Tod Kubo, Dee
Cohen and Randy Robinson, volunteers.
What's Ahead: Comedienne Lily Tomlin will give an ASF benefit performance of "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," Dec. 3 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. Call (949) 253-1511.