Tens of thousands of fans around the world “Zoomed In” to watch sensational striptease when the first-ever digital edition of Broadway Bares streamed August 1, 2020, and raised $596,504 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Broadway Bares: Zoom In featured all-new opening and closing numbers, performed and filmed individually by socially distanced dancers during the pandemic. The show highlighted unforgettable moments, insider stories and special guest stars across the event’s 29 spectacular years.
Zoom In also featured favorite production numbers, some never seen outside of Hammerstein Ballroom: Ground Crew and In-Flight Entertainment from 2019’s Broadway Bares: Take Off, Battleship and Ouija from 2018’s Broadway Bares: Game Night, Feminist Studies, Lacrosse and Psych from 2017’s Broadway Bares: Strip U, The African Mask from 2011’s Broadway Bares: Masterpiece and Pan from 2007’s Broadway Bares: Myth Behavior.
At the conclusion of the stream, Broadway Bares dancers and those behind-the-scenes launched their annual, competitive fundraising campaign, called Stripathon. You can donate to your favorites dancers and crew members now at broadwaycares.org/stripathon.
Broadway Bares‘ Tony Award-winning creator and executive producer Jerry Mitchell said he asked past performers and artists to give him three words to best describe Bares to total strangers “The one word that popped up the most was community,” Mitchell said during the stream. “I created Bares to bring the Broadway community together so we could understand our collective power to make a difference in the early days of the AIDS crisis. And today, we’re still using that power and our sexy dancing bodies to raise money for Broadway Cares, and our spirits, too.”
Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said: “Since first joining seven of his friends dancing on the bar at Splash in the now-iconic first incarnation of Broadway Bares, Jerry Mitchell has had a remarkably unique and extraordinarily generous vision of how Broadway Bares could be much more than hot and sexy fun. Jerry foresaw and made certain that Bares could also be a celebration of health, shared well-being and, indeed, life. Over the last 30 years, many hundreds of others across the community have joined him in a similar commitment. Broadway Bares: Zoom In will mark the brilliant legacy of Broadway Bares for years, well beyond its presentation as an online fundraiser in the midst of these very challenging and deeply troubled days.”
This year’s online production was led by Mitchell, with special guest appearances by Nick Adams, Charles Busch, Lea DeLaria, J. Harrison Ghee, Nathan Lee Graham, Debbie Shapiro Gravitte, Jane Krakowski, Nathan Lane, Beth Leavel, Judith Light, Andrew Lippa, Lesli Margherita, Angie Schworer, Marc Shaiman, Miriam Shor, Christopher Sieber, Wesley Taylor and hundreds of NYC’s best and sexiest dancers.
The celebrity guests dished never-before-shared stories and secrets from Broadway Bares. Krakowski, who appeared in Bares during her Tony Award-winning run in Nine, talked about her experience defying gravity as she twirled upside down in silks, describing it as the closest she’s ever come to a “rockstar moment.”
Light, a three-time Tony recipient and fixture at Broadway Bares, focused on the importance of staying safe and getting tested, reminding the audience that “safe sex is hot sex.” Shaiman, a Tony-winning composer, shared the heartwarming story of how he met his husband at Broadway Bares, who was volunteering for the show at the time. And Sieber wrapped up the evening as he has for nearly 20 years as the master of rotation, the finale where audience members are invited to tip dancers.
Co-executive producer, past director and choreographer Nick Kenkel and Bares‘ director and choreographer Laya Barak introduced the favorite numbers, joined by Bares choreographers John Alix, Al Blackstone, Armando Farfan Jr. , Denis Jones, Michael Lee Scott, Kellen Stancil, Charlie Sutton, Andrew Turteltaub and Sidney Erik Wright.
The August 1 stream was a virtual celebration of Broadway Bares after the annual spectacular’s 30th anniversary event, originally scheduled for June 21, was postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Broadway Bares: Zoom In was directed by Mitchell and written by Troy Britton Johnson. Production stage managers were Matt DiCarlo and Johnny Milani. Video production manager Caite Hevner led a team of 10 video editors and animators. Sound designers Nick Borisjuk and Nevin Steinberg handled audio post production.
Broadway Bares was created in 1992 by Mitchell, then a Broadway dancer, as a way to raise awareness and money for those living with HIV/AIDS. In Broadway Bares‘ first year, Mitchell and six of his friends danced on a New York City bar and raised $8,000.
Last year, Broadway Bares took stars and fans alike on a romp around the world at Broadway Bares: Take Off. The tantalizing twist on travel raised a record-breaking $2,006,192. Broadway Bares has raised more than $21.8 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Broadway Bares receives generous support from presenting sponsor M∙A∙C Viva Glam.