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Musical “Brenda Lee and the Palace of the Princesses” can be seen for free

Despite the reality of violence in which they live, transvestites are welcomed inside the house

The musical “Brenda Lee and the Palace of the Princesses” was a huge success in 2022 and upon its return in 2023 – and those who missed it live can rest assured: it’s all on YouTube! The production brings a little of the story of Brenda Lee, called the “guardian angel of transvestites”, an activist who founded the first support house for people with HIV/AIDS in Brazil and who was murdered almost 28 years ago, on 28 December. May 1996.

She has a pension for transvestites who, for the most part, live off prostitution. Despite the reality of violence in which they live, inside the house the transvestites are welcomed by Brenda, who teaches them to want more from life.


This creation is a continuation of the Experimental Center’s research into the possibilities of interaction between music and theater, consolidating the group’s trajectory as a creator of original Brazilian musicals and celebrating 10 years of its headquarters in the Barra Funda neighborhood.

Brenda Lee, born in Pernambuco in 1948, was a transsexual activist for the rights of the LGBT+ population. Living in São Paulo, she bought a townhouse in the Bexiga neighborhood and began taking in transvestites carrying the HIV virus at a time when almost nothing was known about the epidemic and when prejudice condemned people with HIV to abandonment and loneliness.

Brenda Lee’s importance was enormous, her home of support and reception for the trans population became known as Palácio das Princesas, she signed agreements with the Health Department of the State of São Paulo and the Emílio Ribas Hospital and together, they improved the way of care for HIV-positive patients, regardless of gender, sex, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

The house of support and reception for the trans population became known as the Palace of the Princesses

At the age of 48, on May 28, 1996, at the height of her project, Brenda was murdered, found inside a van parked in a vacant lot with gunshots to the mouth and chest. The crime would have been motivated by a financial scam committed by an employee of the house. In 2008, the “Brenda Lee Award” was created, which includes personalities who stand out in the fight against HIV and AIDS prevention.

The show received the APCA Award for Best Show of 2022 and the Bibi Ferreira Awards for Revelation in Musicals, Best Supporting Actress for Marina Mathey and Best Scriptwriter for Fernanda Maia.

Source: Maxima

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