The buff dancers of Broadway raised a record $154,000 May 10 in the annual "Broadway Bares" benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Michael Graziano, producer of special projects, told Playbill On-Line (May 13) the 8th annual event raised $24,000 more than last year and featured 130 dancers from 15 different shows, including Cabaret, Cats, Chicago, Miss Saigon, Ragtime and The Lion King.
Sandra Bernhard, whose one-woman Off-Broadway shows include the recent "I'm Still Here, Dammit!," hosted "Bares," in which scantily clad performers from the choruses of current Broadway and Off-Broadway shows performed dances and bawdy, burlesque-style comedy. The 1998 event was subtitled "Peep Show," and gave a nod to the world of Mother Goose.
Production numbers included an opening song penned by Andrew Lippa, which featured Debbie Gravitte (as Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary). Then Bo Peep flew in and was instructed on "how to peep." There was a Big Bad Wolf number, followed by Little Miss Muffett and her Spider (Billy Porter and six Lion King dancers formed the human spider). "Bad Girls" offered a mock fight between the `real girls' and the nasty boys (in drag). Alan Cumming then read an erotic "fairy alphabet." Little Boy Blue was stripped and daubed with fluorescent pink paint. After that, the Little people from the Wizard of Oz tore off Little Bo Peep's clothes.
The finale starred Deborah Gibson singing her hit, "Only In My Dreams." Finale, host Sandra Bernhardt, pregnant and dressed as Mother Goose, came on and capped this walpurgisnacht by singing the Beatles' lullabye, "Good Night." For more information on BC/EFA, call (212) 840-0770 or see BC/EFA's website at www.bcefa.org.