Broadway Bares: Solo Strips Returns

An ecstatic crowd cheers and tips as BROADWAY BARES returned to Chelsea’s hottest hot spot and the original location of the very first BROADWAY BARES in 1992, Splash, for SOLO STRIPS: AROUND THE WORLD on Sunday, April 11.

Directed by Rachelle Rak, assistant directed by John Berno and costumes by Brad Musgrove, AROUND THE WORLD featured eleven of Broadway’s sexiest performers stripping to two capacity crowds and raising an impressive, if sweaty, $7,365. The evening was the second in a series paying homage to that very first BROADWAY BARES twenty years ago which featured Jerry Mitchell and six friends performing original strips on the bar at Splash for a $10 donation plus whatever tips the audience gave to the dancers.

Rak had the challenging task of taking us around the world for a strip in nearly a dozen time zones but was certainly up to the task. She explained, “Ten years of Broadway Bares has made stripping sort of my specialty skill! Thanks to Jerry (Mitchell) who taught me how to take off a glove properly. I now pass on my knowledge and sass.”

Host Marty Thomas, most recently in Xanadu and Wicked, kicked things off with an electric rendition of the evening’s theme song, the Electric Light Orchestra hit “All Over the World” which revved up the crowd for what it was about to experience.

“Flight attendant” Angie Schworer of Young Frankenstein took us around the world, first stopping in Texas where boyscout Anthony Giorgio met cowboy Buddy Casimano (Miss Saigon). From there, we stopped in Hawaii where James Brown III (Memphis) captivated with a sumptuous and sensual hula dance. Shortly thereafter, we traveled by Eurail train across Europe with conductor Bree Branker (Monty Python’s Spamalot National Tour) stopping in Italy for a ride with gondolier Joe Simeone (The Phantom of the Opera) and Germany where we met Kristin Piro (Saturday Night Fever National Tour). After this European adventure, we flew to South America’s sensual Argentinean tango dancers, Kristine Bendul (Come Fly Away) and Mark Stuart (Mark Stuart Dance Theatre). Traveling back across the Atlantic to visit “good girl” Emily Loftiss (Jerry Mitchell’s Peep Show) in France and, finally, to Great Britain for the “changing of the guards,” Dave August (Naked Boys Singing) and Ward Billeisen (Curtains).

BROADWAY BARES creator and executive producer Jerry Mitchell joined Thomas and special guests Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia and Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan thanking the enthusiastic crowds and announcing raffle winners. With each strip, we get 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, which will be held on June 20 at Roseland Ballroom.

Special thanks to Greg Jones at Splash.