Broadway Bares Raises $1.57 Million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

by Michael Eddy
Broadway Bares: Strip U raised $1,568,114 in two performances
Broadway Bares: Strip U raised $1,568,114 in two performances

A spirited audience of thousands went back to campus with stripped-down collegians at Broadway Bares: Strip U, this year’s edition of the annual highly choreographed, highly produced striptease spectacular. This 27th edition of Broadway Bares, which is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway Bares: Strip U raised $1,568,114 in two performances on June 18, 2017, at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom.

Stripathon, the online fundraiser led by the show’s cast and crew, raised a jaw-dropping and record-breaking $686,135 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, marking the second year in a row and only second time in Broadway Bares history Stripathon was the single largest contributor to the grand total.

Broadway Bares: Strip U was produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, led by director Nick Kenkel, who was back for the fifth year and created the Strip U concept; producing director Valerie Lau-Kee Lai, and an extraordinary staff. Production Stage Manager Matt DiCarlo led a team of 47 stage managers with more than 700 other volunteers behind the scenes to create the show. The creative team included: lighting designer Joel Shier; sound designer Nevin Steinberg; and scenic designer Jason Lee Courson.

Tony-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who created Broadway Bares in 1992 and serves as executive producer, and Tony winner Judith Light thanked the audience at the show’s close. “We must take the power of our diverse communities and dedicate our energies to the importance of taking care of ourselves and each other,” Light said. Light and Mitchell also reminded the audience: “Safe sex is hot sex. We can best love each other by protecting each other.” 

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. To date, Broadway Bares has now raised $17.4 million for Broadway Cares.

Presenting sponsor M∙A∙C VIVA Glam delivered a $300,000 check, delivered by Nancy Mahon, M∙A∙C senior vice president and executive director of M∙A∙C AIDS Fund. Mahon also saluted the extraordinary skills of more than 70 M∙A∙C makeup artists who volunteered to create the show’s incredible looks. In addition to presenting sponsor M∙A∙C VIVA Glam, Broadway Bares received generous support from BC/EFA corporate partner United Airlines.

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 more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, and the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC.

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