Sunday night’s BROADWAY BARES: CLASSIC brought back the best of the barest to where it all began – Chelsea’s hottest nightspot, Splash – for two performances featuring unforgettable burlesque acts from two decades of BROADWAY BARES.
Dressed as a sequined ringmaster, Host Tituss Burgess (The Little Mermaid) led the enthusiastic crowd through “The Barest Show on Earth,” introducing several classic acts and one premiere—a sensational performance to Lady GaGa’s “Telephone,” featuring the runway return of BROADWAY BARES creator and executive producer Jerry Mitchell.
“I haven’t eaten in six days,” announced the sensationally ripped Mitchell, who first danced for cash at Splash in 1992 during his days as “The Indian of the Dawn” in The Will Rogers Follies. That performance by Mitchell and several other Follies dancers raised $8,000 for BC/EFA. Now a Tony Award®-winning director/choreographer, Mitchell returned to his scantily clad roots to help 2010’s BROADWAY BARES reach its goal of raising a record $1 million.
More than 30 dancers were on hand to recreate numbers from past editions of BROADWAY BARES, and a lot of classic sizzle preceded Mitchell’s steak, including the return of Sebastian LaCause, the bare-bottomed “Space Cowboy” from “2001: A Strip Odyssey,” and the sensational Rachelle Rak, as the iconic BARES image of “Wonder Woman” from 2002’s “A Comic Strip.” Burgess backed her up with an over-the-top rendition of the Wonder Woman TV theme.
Jason Doherty returned as the male lead in a number form 2000’s “Lick It,” which also featured dancers as cherries, mixed nuts, whipped cream, chocolate sauce along with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. The crowd was talking ‘bout “Shaft” baby (played by James Brown III) after a sexy salute to blacksploitation from 2004’s movie-themed “Now Showing,” while Steve Geary as “Elvis” left the building in a hot sweat after taking it off to “A Little Less Conversation” from 2003’s “Burlesque is Back.”
The evening’s biggest laughs were reserved for “Pan,” from 2007’s “Myth Behavior,” which featured Jonathan Lovtiz as the udderly sexy satyr who gets flipped over and milked by buxom maids to an updated version of “Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music.
After his “Telephone” set everyone on vibrate, Mitchell joined Burgess, along with Jen Cody in thanking the enthusiastic crowds, announcing raffle winners and leading mini versions of “The Rotation,” after each performance, with audience members crowding the runway to stuff every variety of currency into the dancers’ g-strings, brassieres and other elastic accoutrements.
With BROADWAY BARES: CLASSIC, the final “mini-BARES” event before the big event, Broadway Cares gets closer to the fundraising goal of $1 million goal set by Mitchell at the first SOLO STRIP this past January 31st for BROADWAY BARES XX: STRIP-OPOLY, which will be held on June 20 at Roseland Ballroom.