Broadway Bares creator and executive producer Jerry Mitchell introduced this year's theme May 28 at Next Magazine's monthly "NextWorks" event at SBNY (Splash). Joining Mitchell onstage was Mary Birdsong (Fame Becomes Me, "Reno: 911"), who will play the central role of "Alice" in the "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"-themed 18th annual Bares fundraiser.
The evening, press notes state, will boast "over 200 of Broadway's hottest bodies traveling 'through the looking glass' to bring some of Wonderland's classic characters to life on stage at Roseland Ballroom. . . Along the way, Alice will encounter a White Rabbit that will make audiences blush, a Mad Tea Party featuring a sexy Mad Hatter and a tempting March Hare, and a Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum that only Broadway Bares could deliver."
Mitchell and Birdsong presented a video showcasing the theme. The video, shot during a recent photo shoot by Broadway Bares photographer Andrew Eccles, may be seen at the Broadway Cares website. It featured Birdsong as Alice along with the chiseled physiques of Michael Cunio (Hairspray) as The Mad Hatter, James Brown III (The Little Mermaid ) as The March Hare, John Carroll as the Caterpillar, Tommy Berklund (A Chorus Line) as the Knave of Hearts and Ward Billeisen (Curtains) and Jason Patrick Sands (A Chorus Line) as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
The design team for the photo shoot included the M•A•C Pro Team (makeup), David Withrow (costumes), Justen M. Brosnan and Kat Ventura (hair) and David Masenheimer (set design).
* The first Broadway Bares in 1992 featured seven dancers stripping on a bar and raised over $8,000. Since then, the event has grown to a full-fledged production and subsequent installments have collectively raised over $4.5 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
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 $130 million for services for people with AIDS, HIV or HIV-related illnesses.
Tickets to the Bares fundraiser are on sale by calling (212) 840-0770, ext. 268 or by visiting www.BroadwayCares.org.
The Roseland Ballroom is located in New York City at 239 West 52nd Street.
Photos by Andrew Eccles