Talk about a full house! Broadway Bares, the wildly popular X-rated night of gypsy stripping, has a television-to-theatre casting coup — special guests Steven Weber and John Stamos. Weber, the buttoned-up Leo Bloom in The Producers, and Stamos, baring his chest nightly as the Emcee in Cabaret, will appear at the gaudy, bawdy Roseland event June 16. Broadway Bares, entitled A Comic Strip this year, raises money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Last year's 2001: A Strip Odyssey raised $340,000. Charles Busch, the Off-Broadway dragster who recently achieved Broadway playwriting acclaim with The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, his star Michele Lee, Rent's Idina Menzel, Rocky Horror Show's Tom Hewitt and Alice Ripley and downtown drag queen Edie hosted and performed .
Choreographer Jerry Mitchell (The Rocky Horror Show, The Full Monty), who once had to dance 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 so Broadway Bares was born. The first year, he and seven other Will Rogers dancers raised $8,000 for BC/EFA.
150 dancers will perform in various states of undress. Most other nights, they work it — with costumes on — in 42nd Street, Aida, Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, The Phantom of the Opera, Cabaret, The Lion King, The Producers, Contact, The Full Monty, Mamma Mia!, Sweet Smell of Success, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown and Rent.
Other special guests at A Comic Strip include New York aerialists Anti-Gravity and the Art of Armando and their high-flying friends from the Las Vegas show EFX. Tickets for the 9:30 PM show will be $45-$500, while at the midnight show, all tickets are $35. For information on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, visit http://www.broadwaycares.org.
— By Christine Ehren