Broadway Bares: Game Night Wins Big and Breaks Records

by Michael Eddy

Broadway’s hottest dancers and two explosively responsive audiences came together for a fierce and steamy evening of fun and sensational striptease at Broadway Bares: Game Night, this year’s record-breaking edition of the annual spectacular. Produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway Bares: Game Night raised $1,875,090 with two standing-room-only performances on Sunday, June 17, 2018, at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom.

Watch video highlights from this year’s show:

Stripathon, the online fundraiser led by the show’s cast and crew, raised a record-shattering $953,153, marking the third year in a row that Stripathon was the single largest contributor to the grand total.

This year’s Broadway Bares gave your ordinary game night a tantalizing twist with unparalleled striptease production numbers inspired by beloved board games, video games, and arcade games. This year’s director was Nick Kenkel, who returned to direct Broadway Bares for the sixth year

Tony-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who created Broadway Bares in 1992 and serves as executive producer, and two-time Tony winner Judith Light thanked the audience at the show’s close. Light reminded the audience: “We are living in challenging and complicated times. But as I look out at this beautiful audience, I know our voices will not be silenced. We must remember that safe is hot sex. Know your status. Testing and treatment equals prevention. Undetectable equals untransmittable. We can best love each other by protecting each other.”

Presenting sponsor M∙A∙C VIVA Glam delivered a $200,000 check, delivered by Sandy Joseph and Janene Machado. The pair saluted the extraordinary skills of the more than 70 M∙A∙C makeup artists who volunteered to create the show’s incredible looks.

Production Stage Manager Johnny Milani led a team of 34 stage managers with more than 700 volunteers behind the scenes to create the show. Joel Shier was lighting designer; Nevin Steinberg handled sound design; and the show’s scenic designer was David Arsenault. Karl Ruckdeschel handled costume coordination; Kevin Thomas Garcia coordinated hair and wig design; and Caite Hevner managed projection coordination. Troy Britton Johnson wrote the show’s book.  

Broadway Bares was created by Mitchell as a way to raise money to help those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. In its first year, Mitchell and seven of his friends danced on a New York City bar and raised $8,000. Last year, the event raised $1,568,114. To date, Broadway Bares has now raised $19.1 million for Broadway Cares.

In addition to presenting sponsor M∙A∙C VIVA Glam, Broadway Bares received generous support from BC/EFA corporate partner United Airlines.

Further information from Broadway Cares: broadwaycares.org