The modern-day burlesque spectacular featuring 192 Broadway dancers brought in $1,103,072 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Last year’s 20th Anniversary edition had set the previous record at $1,015,985.
In a statement creator Jerry Mitchell said, "This was the most expressively beautiful edition of Broadway Bares in its 21 year history! When this many people come together for an event this large, for something that literally exists in the heat and light, the sweat and mist for just one extraordinary night. It simply takes my breath away. It’s such an affirmation of life! It’s coming together as a community and taking care of each other. It’s what Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS stands for and what Broadway Bares is ultimately about. I feel blessed to be a part of it all."
Tony Award winner Beth Leavel, currently on Broadway in the new musical Baby It's You, kicked off the evening singing "Going, Going, Gone," written by Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar. Tony nominee Patina Miller (Sister Act) performed the finale, "The Final Masterpiece."
Other special guests included Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner Judith Light (Lombardi), Tony nominee Rory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon), Emmy winner Jim Parsons (The Normal Heart), Tony and Emmy winner David Hyde Pierce (La Béte), Tony winner Roger Rees (The Addams Family), Tony nominee Christopher Sieber (La Cage aux Folles) and New York Post columnist Michael Riedel.
This year's fundraiser offered "a modern-day burlesque show packed with museum-quality human canvases that would make an art critic blush," according to press notes. Broadway Bares was created by Jerry Mitchell, the Tony-winning choreographer who is currently represented on Broadway with Catch Me If You Can.
|photo by Andrew Eccles|
A little Bares history: Nearly 20 years ago, Legally Blonde's Mitchell, who once danced nearly naked on a drum in The Will Rogers Follies, found himself inspired to take it all off to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and Broadway Bares was born. The first year, he and seven other Broadway dancers raised $8,000 for the charitable organization.
Broadway Cares XXI: Masterpiece is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, executive-produced by Tony winner Mitchell and directed by Josh Rhodes.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the nation's largest industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization. Since its founding in 1988 the organization has distributed over $195 million for services for people with AIDS, HIV or HIV-related illnesses. For more information call (212) 840-0770 or visit www.broadwaycares.org.