Broadway Bares XVII: Myth Behavior

With a $115,000 boost from event sponsorM·A·C AIDS FUND, June 17th’s twoperformances ofBroadway Bares XII: Myth Behavior raised $743,787 breaking last year’s record result of $659,500.

The first BROADWAY BARES (1991) – at which founder Jerry Mitchell and six friends danced for tips at a bar in Chelsea raised $8,000. Since then, this must-see event has grown year-by-year, earning a total of $4,803,648 for BC/EFA and the vital organizations we support.

Bares – which grows more elaborate each year – packed Roseland ballroom on 52nd Street, not only with enthusiastic audience members, but with a record number of dancers who filled the venue’s basement, turning it into an enormous “undressing room” of scantily clad performers, stylists and make-up artists.

2007’s grand total of $743,787 was almost $100,000 more than 2006’s final tally. Ticket sales were higher ($461,238 vs. $415,275), sponsorships up ($157,000 vs. $136,000), and the Rotation (during which dancers prance the runways, collecting donations of all sizes) generated $32,501, up from $22,836, thanks in part to a $10,000 check from long-time BC/EFA supporter David Hyde Pierce and the energetic emceeing of his Spamalot costar Christopher Sieber.

A big boost also came from the Strip-a-Thon, an AIDS Walk-style online sponsorship appeal, which featured images and personal requests for donations from more than 100 of the dancers participating in this year’s show. It generated $84,170, $26,292 more than in 2006.

BROADWAY BARES is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, executive produced by Tony Awardâ-winnerJerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde,Hairspray, La Cage Aux Folles, The Full Monty) and directed by Denis Jones (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde) with associate director, Peter Gregus (Jersey Boys).

The evening featured the work of 17 choreographers and over 240 of the sexiest chorus dancers – men and women –  from Broadway’s biggest shows baring (almost) all to benefit BC/EFA

Olympian Talent
Hilarious and artistic highlights from Myth-Behavior included:

  • Leslie Kritzer (A Catered Affair, Legally Blonde)asthe evening’s leading lady, “Frustracia,” a Greek woman who finds her carnal desires unsatisfied. Kritzer brought the house down with the show’s opening number, an original song penned by Gary Adler (Altar Boyz). The evening featured a book by Jeffrey Lane (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).
  • The number “Heroes” brought to life some of the sexiest heroes and most seductive of Greek villains. Dancers featured in the number included, Michael Balderamma as “Adonis,” Greg Butler as “The Minotaur,” Brian O’Brien as “The Cyclops,” Keith Roberts as “Hercules,” Megan Sikora as “Athena,” and Kissy Simmons as “The Harpy” with Michelle Camaya, Lorin Lotarro and Tim Bish, as “their hapless, beautiful victims.”
  • Tony Award® winners Pierce (Curtains) and Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago) took the stage as the King and Queen of the gods – “Zeus” and “Hera.” Zeus recounted many of Hera’s vengeful acts that fill Greek mythology. The worst offense:  “she scheduled the Tony’s opposite the last episode of The Sopranos.” At the end of this long list, Neuwirth quipped, “I’m a funny bitch.”
  • Featured dancers Marielys Molina (one of this year’s BARES poster girls) and Nick Kenkel recreated the mythological characters of “Medusa” and “Perseus” respectively. The number featured Molina dancing to Nelly Furtado’s hit song “Maneater” and Kenkel ripping off some of the sexiest armor ever seen.
  • The Pirate Queen’s Eric Hatch played the virgin boy in a Flamenco-esque Centaur fantasy where he’s seduced by the steamy, King of the Centaurs, Corbin Popp (ThePhantomof the Opera) and his ten half man, half horse herd.
  • Todd Buonopane (…Spelling Bee) as Helga the Milkmaid keeps the Lonely Goat-herd “handy” in a stand-out comedic visit to the grassy fields where Pan, Nick Adams (Pirate Queen) instigates mayhem on the farm. 
  • Daphne Rubin-Vega (Jack Goes Boating) performing her rendition of the Elton John classic “Rocketman” while The Living Art of Armando showcased some of their aerial talents in a number dedicated to the myth of Icarus.
  • Annaleigh Ashford (Legally Blonde), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde) and Deidre Goodwin (A Chorus Line) appeared as “The Broadway Sirens” and seduced audience members (yep, even the gay ones) with their beautiful siren song, “The Love Boat Theme.”
  • Tony Award® winner Harvey Fierstein (A Catered Affair, Hairspray) in eye-popping “Pandora” drag, begging Frustractia to open his magic box.
  • Capathia Jenkins (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me) as “Venus” (or as she likes to be called, “Afro-dite”) closing the show with BARES poster boy Ven Daniel as “Cupid,” Kritzer, and the entire cast with a disco version of The Beatles’ classic “All You Need Is Love.”

It took hundreds of volunteers and staff members to transform Roseland into Mount Olympus, but special acknowledgement should go to BC/EFA producing director Michael Graziano and Bares co-producer Anthony LaTorella, as well as BC/EFA production manager Nathan Hurlin, associate producer Scott Tucker and production stage manager Michael Clarkston.

The evening ended with representatives from the M•A•C AIDS Fund presenting BC/EFA with a check for $115,000 which helped set this year’s record. This marks M•A•C’s 10th year sponsoring the event.

Additional sponsors includedAussieBum; 1-800 Postcards; PMD Promotion; NEXT Magazine; Metrosource Magazine; Absolut Vodka; Hairspray, The Movie; The Terry K. Watanabe Trust; Club H Fitness, The Official Gym of Broadway Bares; W New York, Times Square, The Official Hotel of Broadway Bares; and The New York Times.