Broadway Bares 23 Brings in Record-Breaking Sum for Broadway Cares
By Andrew Gans
Broadway Bares 23: United Strips of America, which was held June 23 at Roseland Ballroom and featured 220 of New York’s sexiest dancers, raised an all-time record high, bringing in $1,430,241 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
With this year’s record total, the 23 editions of Broadway Bares have raised more than $11.3 million for Broadway Cares. The annual event started in 1992 and featured seven dancers stripping on a bar, raising about $8,000.
This year’s edition of Broadway Bares was directed by Nick Kenkel; the fundraiser was created by Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who serves as executive producer. It was produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS led by producing director Michael Graziano.
In United Strips of America, Max von Essen and Michael Cusumano portrayed a bi-coastal couple who set out on separate, sexy journeys through a dozen states.
The evening also included appearances by Christopher Sieber, Lesli Margherita, Jim Newman, Billy Porter, Alan Cumming, Kate Rockwell, Eric LaJuan Summers and Charl Brown as well as "American Idol" finalist Adam Lambert, who delivered a rousing rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the midnight performance. A pre-show performance by The Skivvies (Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina) provided a mash-up of more than a dozen Americana-themed songs.
Judith Light, this year's Tony Award winner for Featured Actress in Play for her role in The Assembled Parties, saluted the dancers and applauded the event's sponsors. Bravo's Andy Cohen also introduced the winners of the individual stripathon fundraisers.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
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