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Monday, 20 June 2011 23:29

BC/EFA's BROADWAY BARES Breaks Fundraising Record





BROADWAY BARES XXI: MASTERPIECE, the modern-day burlesque spectacular featuring 192 Broadway dancers, made history Sunday by raising a record-breaking $1,103,072 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Last year’s 20th Anniversary edition of BROADWAY BAREShad set the previous record at $1,015,985.  The first BROADWAY BARES, in 1992, featured seven dancers stripping on a bar and raised just over $8,000. To date, the 21 editions ofBROADWAY BAREShave raised more than $8.6 million for Broadway Cares.

BROADWAY BARES, created by Jerry Mitchell (Catch Me If You Can, Legally Blonde) who serves as executive producer, is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS lead by Producing Director Michael Graziano. This year’s edition was conceived by director Josh Rhodes (Company at theNew York Philharmonic, The Drowsy Chaperone, Working at the Old Globe Theatre) and associate director Lee Wilkins (Spamalot, Wonderful Town).

Jerry Mitchell said, “This was the most expressively beautiful edition of BROADWAY BARES in its 21 year history! When this many people come together for an event this large, for something that literally exists in the heat and light, the sweat and mist for just one extraordinary night. It simply takes my breath away. It’s such an affirmation of life! It’s coming together as a community and taking care of each other. It’s what Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS stands for and what BROADWAY BARES is ultimately about.  I feel blessed to be a part of it all.”

BROADWAY BARES XXI: MASTERPIECEflipped the traditionally staid art auction into a racy, risqué and altogether sexy parade of art-come-to-life provocative paintings and seductive statues, serving up a modern-day burlesque spectacle featuring Broadway's hottest dancers.

Highlights from BROADWAY BARES XXI: MASTERPIECEincluded:

·       Tony Award-winner Beth Leavel (Baby It’s You) opened the evening's auction house with a provocative original song “Going, Going, Gone,” written by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (Elf and The Wedding Singer). When Leavel introduced one of history’s most beloved pieces of art, Michelango’s “The David,” the crowd roared as one of Broadway’s most beloved stars, Tony and Emmy Award-winner David Hyde Pierce (La Bête) was revealed in white suit and fig leaf.

·       Joshua Buscher (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and an army of revolutionary soldiers recreated the historic painting Washington Crossing the Delaware in a scorching number that made even the most disenchanted citizen come to full salute and feel surprisingly patriotic.

  • Beautiful full-figured women took to the stage in a tribute to Dutch painter Peter Paul Rubens, who was known for his fondness of painting luscious plus-sized models. Christine DanelsonMichelle Dowdy and Katy Grenfell led 22 dancers in a sexy display of femininity that left the crowd cheering for more of more.
  • Tony nominee Robin De Jésus (La Cage aux Folles) played a mischievous frog in a game of bootie hide and froggie seek with Memphis' Andy Mills and his group of country boys, set in a Monet-inspired lily pond.
  • Finger painting took on new meaning as choreographer Michael Lee Scott channeled Pablo Picasso's abstract expressionism and six painters tossed aside their brushes and their inhibitions and literally took matters and paint into their own hands on a muscular canvas.
  • An intimate, sensual dance, inspired by Belgian surrealist René Magritte lifted off the ground, giving way to a trio of aerialists from the Living Art of Armando who performed a jaw-dropping routine requiring both tremendous strength and extraordinary grace as they hung high from umbrellas above the crowd.
  • The BROADWAY BARES audience was left screaming for more after an S&M-fueled number, inspired by Edvard Munch's The Scream and Edgar Degas' love of ballerinas, which featured a stellar turn by Reed Kelly (The Addams Family) and choreographer Melissa Rae Mahon (Chicago).

·       Special guests included Tony Award winner Roger Rees (The Addams Family), Tony Award nominee Rory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon) and Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons (The Normal Heart) and Tony Award nomineeChristopher Sieber (Chicago) and notorious New York Post columnist Michael Riedel, appearing in hilarious and irreverent sketches written by Hunter Foster (Million Dollar Quartet).

·       Sister Act's Tony-nominated Patina Miller led the full BAREScompany in the evening's high energy ”Final Masterpiece,” an uplifting homage to the Broadway musical Sunday in the Park with George and its subject, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

The evening featured 192 of the sexiest male and female dancers from Broadway baring nearly all to benefit Broadway Cares in works created by 13 extraordinarily talented and passionate choreographers, including Armando Farfan, Jr., James Harkness, Nick Kenkel, Dontee Kiehn, Stephanie Lang, Melissa Rae Mahon, Barry Morgan, Rachelle Rak, Josh Rhodes, Jon Rua, Michael Lee Scott, Mark Stuart and Lee Wilkins.

Tony-nominee Judith Light (Lombardi) saluted the dancers in the evening’s finale.  Speaking to a cheering crowd of more than 3,000 people at the two performances, she said, “What we do tonight makes a huge difference to hundreds of thousands of men, women and children across the country facing the challenges of living with HIV and AIDS. On behalf of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the BROADWAY BARES team, remember that safe sex is hot sex – and that we can best love each other by always remembering to protect each other. Then what we do together will indeed make a difference.”

Presenting sponsor M·A·C Viva Glam delivered a $200,000 check presented by M·A·C’s Senior Vice President and Creative Director James Gager, who also saluted the extraordinary skills of 70 M·A·C make-up artists who volunteered on the show.

BROADWAY BARES is the hotly anticipated annual event combining the naughtiness of burlesque and the razzle-dazzle of Broadway. The 2011 edition was held at Roseland Ballroom (239 West 52nd Street), with two performances on Sunday, June 19. For more information and merchandise, visit

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations.  By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised over $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

BC/EFA awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.

For more information, please visit the Broadway Cares online

and generously sponsored by United Airlines

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