A jewel in the calendar of gay New York, the immensely popular Broadway Bares returns for the 27th year on Sunday, June 18 with a collegiate theme. This year’s theme is Strip U, an unrivaled evening of seductive striptease production numbers with an academic twist.
Produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the theme was created and will be directed by Nick Kenkel.
Broadway Bares: Strip U will feature more than 150 of the hottest male and female dancers sharing their hearts and well-toned bodies with an energetic crowd of thousands. The 90-minute show features Broadway’s most talented movers and shakers in a highly choreographed, highly produced spectacular.
Go back to school at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom for two shows at 9:30 pm and midnight. Special guests for the evening will be announced later, but past names like James Franco and Laverne Cox make us know we won’t be disappointed.
The show was originally created by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (On Your Feet!, Kinky Boots), who continues to serve as executive producer. In Broadway Bares‘ first year, Mitchell and six of his friends danced on a New York City bar and raised $8,000.
Mitchell remembers the beginning of the AIDS crisis and how it personally affected him. “I came to New York City when I was 20 in 1980,” he told Next Magazine last year.
“By 1984, I had lost my first college roommate to AIDS. By 1990, I had lost nine of my college roommates and friends, including one of my first boyfriends. I lost Michael Bennet, all these people who were really, really close to me. Licking stamps at GMHC, I was doing anything I could do to help. I wanted to do something. Then I had an idea. I created a show. I used my talent to give back.”
“Today, AIDS is a manageable disease,” Mitchell adds. “We have found a way to make it manageable. But what young, young people don’t understand is that managing it is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of major medications and that medication is not that healthy to be taking all the time, but you have to take it to remain healthy. So it is a Catch 22.”
For the fifth year in a row, Nick Kenkel (Catch Me If You Can, Peepshow, Legally Blonde) directs. Last year, the event celebrated its 26th edition with a tech-savvy, television-inspired spectacular. Broadway Bares: On Demand, also directed by Kenkel, raised $1,482,724. The 26 editions of Broadway Bares have raised more than $15.8 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Tickets for Broadway Bares: Strip U range from $50 to $3,000. VIP tickets include unlimited specialty cocktails and seats from special viewing areas.