“Mis-Information – True and Not-So-True Early Information About AIDS,” the latest exhibit at Stonewall National Museum & Archives (SNMA), 1300 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, opens on Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. with a reception and curatorial talk by Executive Director Hunter O’Hanian.

“As we cope with another wave of COVID-19 cases, especially here in Florida and the American Southeast, the focus has been redirected to what we know and don’t know about the prevention or treatment of a viral pandemic. Everyone is aware of the misinformation relating to COVID circulating on social media and the press,” said O’Hanian in an announcement.

However, the early days of the AIDS pandemic were not very different, O’Hanian pointed out. While the medical community made some early progress, myths were rampant about the cause, transmission and treatment of the disease. Concerns were raised about AIDS originating from prior vaccines or nefarious motives from the “medical establishment” or governmental leaders. Baseless claims were made about purported treatments and cures.

The exhibition draws on SNMA’s collection of early AIDS books, many of which were removed from the lending collection because they contain factual errors. The exhibit also explores how some of these rumors were spread through the gay press.

“We are hopeful that as people look at how mis-information was spread then, they might make better choices today with regard to the spread and treatment of COVID,” O’Hanian added.

For more information, go to Stonewall-Museum.org.

New Comedy Premieres at Empire Stage

“Old Tricks,” a new comedy by local playwright Michael Bush, will receive its world premiere Nov. 5 – 28 at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Dr. in Fort Lauderdale.

After 30 years apart, two 60-something former lovers who broke up during the AIDS crisis impulsively rendezvous at Fire Island’s famed Belvedere Hotel. Madness ensues when they discover one of their husbands is watching from a nearby house while the other one has checked in to the room next door with a mysterious young man.

Bush described his play as “inspired by Noel Coward’s ‘Private Lives’ — old tricks prove to be as potent as new ones, as sexual escapades are exposed, cocktails are thrown, hard truths are revealed and a talent to amuse reigns supreme.”

Mike Dinwiddie, Thomas Farmer, Brian Piedra and Michael Wright star. Bush does triple duty as writer, director and cast member.

Performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets are $30 at EmpireStage.com. Use promo code EMPIRE to save $5.