Broadway Bares, the annual fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, features the exposed flesh of Broadway's sexiest men and women, with direction by Jerry Mitchell, choreographer of two of this season's big hits, Hairspray and Gypsy. Subtitled Burlesque Is Back!, the two-performance evening promises to "bring back the bump and grind of Blaze Starr and Gypsy Rose Lee."
This year's striptease extravaganza will feature over 200 dancers from such Broadway shows as Aida, Cabaret, Chicago, Gypsy, Hairspray, Movin' Out, The Lion King, The Producers and Mamma Mia! The evening will also feature appearances by Eartha Kitt, Nine's Jane Krakowski, Gypsy's "Gotta Get a Gimmick" gals — Kate Buddeke, Julie Halston and Heather Lee — as well as Cabaret's Deborah Gibson, who will kick off "the rotation," where the performers go-go dance for tips for the charity.
Two performances of Broadway Bares 13 will be offered June 15, one at 9:30 PM and the other at midnight. As of press time on Friday, the 9:30 PM performance was already sold out, and the midnight show "was well on its way," said a production spokesperson. Remaining tickets — $40-$600 — to the fundraiser are available by calling (212) 840-0770, ext. 268. The Roseland Ballroom is located in New York City at 239 West 52nd Street.
A little Bares history: Thirteen years ago, Mitchell, 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 Broadway Bares was born. The first year, he and seven other Will Rogers dancers raised $8,000 for the charitable organization. Last season’s Broadway Bares: A Comic Strip — hosted by The Producers' Steven Weber and Cabaret's John Stamos — raised nearly $400,000. A staggering 150 dancers performed in various states of undress from such shows as 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.
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 $65 million for services for people with AIDS, HIV or HIV-related illnesses.