One of the more popular fund-raising events for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the annual Broadway Bares show, wherein B'way dancers and choristers peel down to bring donations up.
For a more G-rated experience, families might want to check out Broadway Bears (yes, as in the grizzlies), which raises donations on the sale of 40 cute little stuffed bears designed to look like famous performers in theatre roles.
According to the BC/EFA website, this year's Bears honor the work of Tony Award winners such as Theoni V. Aldredge, Florence Klotz, Santo Loquasto, and Julie Taymor. Characters include Dot from Sunday in the Park With George and Annie Oakley from Annie Get Your Gun. All are manufactured by North American Bear Company, Inc.
Last year's crop -- which raised $124,000 -- featured a Funny Girl Streisand bear (which Rosie O'Donnell bought for $10,000), a Once Upon A Mattress Carol Burnett bear, a Ben Vereen Pippin bear, a Katharine Hepburn Coco bear, a Sam Waterston Hamlet bear, a Julie Andrews Victor/Victoria bear and more.
The ursine menagerie will be on view Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 1999 at the second annual "Broadway Bears" cocktail party and auction, happening at NYC's Hudson Theatre, 145 West 44th St.). VIP tickets are $150; general admission tix are $35, with the minimim bid for a bear set at $700. For more information call BC/EFA at (212) 840-0770, x. 268 or check out their website at http://www.bcefa.org.
-- By David Lefkowitz