It's been called "the barest show on Earth" -- Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' seventh annual fundraiser, Broadway Bares, which took place Sunday, May 4, at Webster Hall (125 East 11th Street, between 3rd and 4th Ave. NYC).
The hotly anticipated annual event, where Broadway's sexiest and talented chorus members dance, strip and strut their stuff, added two shows this year -- one at 9:30 PM and midnight, with dancing until 4 AM. The celebrity host was Darlene Love. All proceeds went to benefit BC/EFA, the entertainment's vital organization working to address AIDS.
The show, directed for the seventh straight time by Jerry Mitchell, raised over $130,000. According to Michael Graziano, producer of special projects for BC/EFA, last year's take was $87,000. "We had a lot more sponsors this year," he said.
"This year's theme was the circus," added Graziano, "so all the numbers had a take-off on circus themes. There was a hypnotist number, a strong man number, a bearded ladies number, an acrobatic number [from the Anti Gravity troupe], and a fire-act. The finale featured Love singing "River Deep, Mountain High," and parting words from guest-host Joely Fisher, who plays Ellen's best friend on TV's "Ellen": "I want to thank everyone for coming out." A video of the event can be purchased through Broadway Beat at (212) 757-8151, proceeds, of course, go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Broadway Bares essentially ended the BC/EFA fundraising season. Totaling proceeds from the organization's four big events -- the Flea Market (in Sept.), the Gypsy Of The Year, the Easter Bonnet Competition, and Broadway Bares -- BC/EFA raised over $3.2 million. Though not set in stone, BC/EFA's next event will be a reading by Lou Diamond Phillips (The King And I) of his own play, probably June 16.