Monday, June 7, 2010

Broadway Bares at 20! The First 5 Years


In honor of the 20th edition of Broadway Bares, each Monday in June (plus a WHOLE lot more when Broadway Bares 20 happens)  I'll blog about the history of this annual fundraising event.

Jerry Mitchell, founder and dancer in Broadway Bares

Back in the early 90's Jerry Mitchell was a dancer in The Will Rogers Follies and in the opening number, "Will-a-Mania" he did a dance on a giant Indian drum in a headdress and a barely covering the essentials loin cloth.  It was the talk of Broadway.  So Mitchell and his buddies from the show, and a few others, thought why not do a little more of that kind of thing and raise money for AIDS awareness, education, and outreach.

Broadway Bares I

Directed by: Jerry Mitchell
When:  April 8, 1992
Where:  Splash
How much was raised:  $8,000.00
Firsts: The end of show "Rotation" tradition began and remains today.  During this, the dancers get up close to the fans, who stuff donations into their g-strings.  Every few minutes, the dancers rotate around to different sets of fans.

Broadway Bares II

Directed by: Jerry Mitchell
When: October 28, 1992
Where: Shout
How much was raised: $17,000.00
Firsts: This was the first BB to feature Broadway's hottest girl dancers, who continue to be as popular with the boys as the boys!

Broadway Bares III: The Lusty Month of May

Directed by: Jerry Mitchell
When: May 9, 1993
Where: Club USA
How much was raised: $30,000.00
Firsts: The first completely "themed" show, and the first to add catwalks/runways to allow the dancers to do their thing even closer to the audience.  Also, this presentation became the first of an annual spring event.

Broadway Bares IV: Revival: A New Way to Do It

Directed by: Jerry Mitchell
When: March 14, 1994
Where: Club USA
How much was raised: $38,000.00
Firsts: The first show to feature a guest celebrity host, Rikki Lake.

Broadway Bares V: Knock, Knock!  Who's Bare?

Directed by: Jerry Mitchell
When: May 14, 1995
Where: Palladium
How much was raised: $100,000.00
Firsts: The New York Times mentions BB in an article.  The show, with the press (finally!), is a legitimate theatrical event.

  • Information and photos for this series of blogs comes from and the book Broadway Bares: Backstage Pass from Universe Books.  Absolutely no copyright infringement is intended.  All photos and facts are from those sources only, and in no way is its authorship and photography implied to be by anyone else.

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