Orin Kennedy, left, and Bernardo Puccio at a cocktail party in their honor in downtown Knoxville last week.
A little bit of old Hollywood glamour came to Knoxville last week as Positively Living, the organization that supports those touched by AIDS, hosted the premiere of the updated version of “An Ordinary Couple” at the Bijou Theatre.
The documentary film tells the story of Orin Kennedy and Bernardo Puccio and their 40-year relationship over a period of time when it was illegal to be gay, when AIDS ravaged the gay community and, finally, when same-sex marriage was legalized.
The original version of the film was produced 11 years ago when the pair, offended that they couldn’t legally marry, decided instead to throw themselves a party in a cemetery and unveil the special monument they had commissioned featuring both their names. That party was even covered by the Los Angeles Times (click here).
The men met each other after they moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting careers. When the acting didn’t work out, Puccio became an interior designer and Kennedy a location manager for films and TV shows. It was Kennedy’s connection to Knoxvillian Glo Klarich — they went to high school together in New York — that resulted in the new version of the film opening at the Bijou with proceeds benefiting Positively Living.
Prior to the film screening, Cliff and Jacque Hawks hosted a cocktail party in their downtown condo for Positively Living supporters. Following that, there was a buffet dinner on the stage of the Bijou Theatre.
From left, Cliff Hawks, Orin Kennedy, Jacque Hawks and Bernardo Puccio at the Hawks’ beautiful condo in The Elliott on Church Avenue.
Glo Klarich, left, went to high school with Orin Kennedy, right. Karen Kluge is in the center.
From left, Steve Drevik, Lee Ann Rogers, Dino Cartwright and Steve Jenkins at the party. Jenkins is executive director of Positively Living.
Haha. That’s Gay Lyons, director of marketing and development for Positively Living, with Tim Young, left, and R.J. Hinde.
Renee Repka, left, and Brenda Tackett.
Gay Lyons, left, with Mary Ellen Brewington and Fred Campbell.
Chris Davis, left, and Rene Yanes.
The hors d’oeuvres were fantastic. Nancy Kendrick catered.
Stuffed mushrooms got rave reviews.
Artistic shot by my friend Dino Cartwright.
From left, Randall DeFord, Wes Goddard and Steven Smith.
Ralph Cianelli, left, and Rick Fox.
Muffet Testerman-Buckner and Steve Jenkins.
Janet Testerman, left, with Chris Davis and Susan Brown.
Janet Testerman Crossley and Craig Shelton.
From left, Jackie Wilson, Martha Buchanan, Rene Yanes and Vicki Williams Baumgartner.
From left, Donald Thorne, Orin Kennedy, Steven Smith and Karen Kluge.
From left, Todd Cramer, Dino Cartwright and Ernie Hoskins.
Bill Lyons, left, with Glo Klarich and Orin Kennedy.
Matt McAdoo, left, director of Positively Living’s Choice Health Network, with Steve Jenkins.
From left, Jeff Cupp, Jim Harness and Ricky Kennedy.
A closer look at Jeff’s glitzy Alexander McQueen shirt!
His shoes were show stoppers, as well!
From left, Karen Kluge, Gay Lyons, Jacque and Cliff Hawks. (Photo by Dino Cartwright)
Soon, it was time to walk a few short blocks to the Bijou Theatre.
Yep. This is our destination.
On the stage, a delicious buffet by Holly Hambright awaited us.
Lee Ann Rogers and Sam Maynard enjoying the refreshments.
Jennifer Holder, left, and Deborah Franklin.
A few remarks by Master of Ceremonies Dino Cartwright and the guests of honor.
Holly Hambright thoughtfully passed out “to go” cups so we could take drinks to our seats.
And then, it was time for the movie. Here’s an excerpt: click here.
A few remarks from the stage.
It was a very special — and not so ordinary — night.