Andy Karl, James Franco, Alan Cumming and More Strip Down for a Good Cause at Broadway Bares: Rock Hard!

By Robert Viagas
23 Jun 2014

Joey Taranto and Matthew Saldivar
Joey Taranto and Matthew Saldivar
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Broadway Bares, the annual celebration of Broadway’s most beautiful (bare) bodies, rolled out its 24th edition June 22 with a salute to classic rock ‘n’ roll, lasciviously titled Rock Hard!

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Stars including Andy Karl of Rocky, James Franco of Of Mice and Men, Patrick Page of Casa Valentina, Lesli Margherita of Matilda The Musical and Alan Cumming of Cabaret joined more than 180 buff dancers in giving the crowd an ample peek at what’s under their pretty Broadway costumes.

A special guest was Alex Minsky, the hunky tattooed ex-Marine who has built a career as a model despite having to wear a prosthetic leg owing to a wartime injury.



The event is held as a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Because a substantial portion of the evening’s cash proceeds have to be gathered from the jockstraps and g-strings they were tucked into by appreciative audience members in the show’s finale, the total proceeds from the event were still being tabulated the following morning. The 2013 edition garnered $1,254,176.

Directed by Nick Kenkel, this year’s Broadway Bares christened its new home, the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th Street, after losing its longtime nest at the Roseland Ballroom on 52nd Street when that venerable hall closed its doors earlier this year.

In comparison with  the more traditional Gypsy of the Year and Easter Bonnet fundraising events, Bares combines Broadway with burlesque. There is much less emphasis on skits and jokes and much more emphasis on dancing and bare skin. Most segments ended with the dancers clad in little more than pasties and g-strings, with bare buttocks galore.

The 75-minute show opened with two dads (Matthew Saldivar and Joey Taranto) complaining that they had been dragged to a One Direction concert by their daughters and reminiscing about the great old days of rock. Through the magic of Broadway Bares, they were whisked back in time to watch performances inspired by the likes of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin and Prince, with their memories putting the sex back in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. The opening number was choreographed by Kenkel with original music by Matthew Sklar and original dialogue and lyrics by Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody).

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