It was the hottest day of the year on Sunday, June 19 and temperatures were rising at BC/EFA’s hottest event of the year, BROADWAY BARES. Held in the famed Roseland Ballroom, the house was packed for both the 9:30 and Midnight shows as thousands watched over 200 performers take it off for a good cause.
This year’s show was themed “New York Strip” and roughly followed the travels of “Chip and Chip” (Barret Foa from AVENUE Q and Andrew Rannells from HAIRPSRAY), a young gay couple from Idaho who were visiting NYC for the first time. Their adventure started with a tutorial from sassy diner waitress Gina (played by DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS’ Sara Gettlefinger) on the culinary pleasures of eating out in the Big Apple, complete with a living menu of spectacular “Daily Special” Showgirls.
“The Chips” were aided in their attempt to find their way to Roseland for BROADWAY BARES by celebrity guests including Fran Drescher, Alan Cumming, Mahagony and THE JERSEY BOYS’ John Lloyd Young, J. Robert Spencer, Daniel Reichard and Dominic Nolti. Mario Cantone finally brought the boys to Roseland and concluded the show with “ New York, New York as the evening’s finale. Other celebrities who appeared included Marisa Jaret Winouker in the fashion show featured in the “Transit Strike” number and TARZAN’s Josh Strickland being stripped by an ensemble of female construction workers in “Construct This.”
Highlights of the night included hot firefighters taking it off aided by a chorus of female “flames”, the aerial brilliance of “The Living Art of Armando” in the Studio 54 section and the “Rock-Hard-Ettes” precision strip which ended with a cannon blasting each of them to the ground. The stand-out performance of the night was special guest Cyndi Lauper, who stopped the show with her rendition of “True Colors”, complete with a surprise trenchcoat flash to the audience.
At the end of each show, the dancers stayed on stage for the “rotation” where audience members tipped a total of $22,836 helping to push the evenings grand total to a record-breaking $559,500.
The evening was produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Denis Jones conceived and directed “New York Strip”, which included choregraphy by Rhonda Miller, Jeff Amsden, Greg Graham, Dontee Kiehn, Abdul Latif and Nick Kenkel, in addition to Mr. Jones.
Broadway Bares’ founder, Jerry Mitchell, served as Executive Producer and took the stage with Rita Wilson and Sandra Bernhard to accept a check for $100,000 from Presenting sponsor MAC Viva Glam. Special thanks to additional sponsors — 2(x)ist, Absolut Vodka, 1-800-Postcards, PMD Promotions, Next Magazine, Metrosource Magazine and Out Magazine.
Extra special thanks to the hundreds of volunteers – both onstage and off – whose extraordinary generosity made this spectacular evening possible.