The combination of sexy strip routines done by more 200 of the dancers featured in current Broadway musicals and comedy guest stars ranging from Nathan Lane to Kristin Chenoweth makes the show tremendously entertaining, as well as extremely helpful to a very good cause, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The show is very racy but never tips over into grossness — it would be rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America rather than NC-17.
In 2001, the benefit raised $340,000. Last year, “Broadway Bares” brought in an astounding $1,103,072 from the two performances on a single night. The benefit is restricted to two performances on a Sunday night because that is the only time all of the Broadway musicals are dark (the dancers and actors rehearse for many weeks in between their regular eight performance schedule).
On Thursday, BC/EFA announced that the theme for the June 17 show — with performances at 9:30 p.m. and midnight — will be “Happy Endings” with all of the numbers paying tribute to favorite fairy tales.
In the words of BC/EFA, “In this 22nd edition of ‘Broadway Bares,’ more than 200 of New York’s sexiest and most delectable dancers will take you to a land where rubbing a magic lamp reveals more than just a genie. These storybook happy endings would make seven dwarfs whistle before and after they work.”
The event creator Jerry Mitchell was a chorus dancer when he put together a small show at a Chelsea club in 1992. Since then, he has become one of the top director-choreographers on Broadway but still takes the time to serve as executive producer of every benefit.
Mitchell’s first show raised about $8,000. Through 21 subsequent benefits, “Broadway Bares” has raised more than $8.6 million.
The show remains very affordable at $65 for a standing room spot in Roseland Ballroom.
Higher priced VIP packages are available for those who would rather sit at tables in the mezzanine, but the show only runs about an hour and a big part of the fun is being close to the stage in one of the most energized audiences imaginable.
For ticket information call 212-840-0770, ext. 268 or visit www.broadwaycares.org.
The producers of the show also maintain a site at www.broadwaybares.com that is packed with great pictures from past benefits.