|Cast members of ‘Broadway Bares: Take Off’
(photo: Billy Bustamante)
Broadway’s sexiest event of the year, Broadway Bares, offered a spectacular romp around the world this past weekend, and we’ve got the video to prove it.
Over two performances at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City Sunday night, Broadway’s hottest dancers raised a record-breaking $2+ million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. Thanks to BC/EFA, men, women and children across the country receive lifesaving medications, health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance.
This year’s theme, Broadway Bares: Take Off, featured nearly 200 performers onstage including Tony & Grammy Award winner Billy Porter, two-time Tony nominee Christopher Sieber, GLEE alum Alex Newell and Grammy/Tony nominee Ashley Park.
Check out the highlights reel:
The travel theme allowed the creators to take the audience on a sexy, sensual, fun-filled trip around the world.
One number, titled “Ground Crew,” showed what happens when a flight is delayed on the tarmac and the all-male ground crew has to sweat through their shift.
Led by Adam Perry, the number (choreographed by Andrew Turteltaub) featured buff baggage handlers taking care of business.
Other highlights included a sexy ‘mile-high club’ number; an all-female excursion through Amsterdam’s Red Light district; and a Parisian fashion show led by Pose star Billy Porter that evolved into a vogueing battle.
With this year being the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, the show’s travels ended (where else?) with a performance set in the historic Stonewall Inn.
Porter also returned at the end of the show to perform his new Pride anthem, “Love Yourself.”
Addressing the packed crowd, Porter spoke passionately of “community” and “unbowed determination.”
“Broadway Bares is about the joy of community, the love we share and the care we show for each other,” said the Tony Award winning actor. “These are both glorious and difficult days. We have so much to celebrate and be proud of. But at the same time we are surely shaken, angry and saddened by the cruelty, inequality and torrent of lies that confront us on a daily basis.”
“But as I look over this beautiful audience and see thousands standing together, unbowed, we will not be dismissed or demeaned. For we are empowered by love, determination and courage,” he continued. “We will not be stigmatized for the very things that make us beautiful, expressive beings.”
And yes, it does take a village. In addition to the 200 onstage performers, backstage there were 41 stage managers and 700 volunteers, including 70 MAC makeup artists, all helping to make the magic.
With 29 editions of the ‘striptacular’ event now on the books, Broadway Bares has raised an amazing $21.1 million for BC/EFA.
Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised over $300 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses.
Just to give you a sense of how massive the event is, here’s a clip from the finale via Broadway Bares creator, Tony Award winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell: