Entertainment » Theatre

Winter Burlesque: ’Calendar Girl’ To Benefit BC/EFA

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Jan 22, 2014
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Daniel Robinson in Broadway Bares 23
Daniel Robinson in Broadway Bares 23  (Source:Danny Roberts)

Broadway Cares kicks off their 2014 fundraising on January 26 with the "Calendar Girl" edition of "Broadway Bares Winter Burlesque", produced by and benefitting Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS. The event will be held in two sizzling installments at XL Nightclub in midtown Manhattan.

This year’s event, themed Calendar Girl, will be based on last summer’s Fire Island Pines edition of the popular annual burlesque. It is inspired by 1999’s "Broadway Bares IX: Calendar Girl" and will feature more than two dozen of New York theatre’s sexiest dancers taking the stage for a striptease journey through the calendar.

The event is directed by Michael Lee Scott, with Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell of "Kinky Boots" fame serving as executive producer and creator. The event is close to his heart, and he hopes it will raise upwards of $50,000 between tickets sales, raffle and go-go dancers tips to help people living with HIV/AIDS.

"When I started Broadway Bares, AIDS was taking too many of my friends," Mitchell told EDGE. "I wanted to raise money for BC/EFA and send a message to our community that we could be intimate and safe at the same time. Now nearly 25 years later, I am seeing young kids sign up to participate who have lost close family members: uncles, aunts, brothers, fathers. Generations have been affected by AIDS and there is great need for assistance."

Mitchell said that this incarnation of "Broadway Bares Winter Burlesque" has a sexy yet wholesome vibe. It is a throwback to the early years when the show was more intimate, said Mitchell, who avowed that, "with 25 talented performers, Calendar Girl will fill you with sultry memories that will last you the whole year long."

Not that you’ll have to wait that long! In April’s edition of Broadway Bares, two hapless chorus boys can’t seem to get one thing straight. In August, three dancers give a warm sensation, and in December, Santa’s most creative elf climbs his way up the naughty list.

Also on Broadway Cares’ list of fundraising events for 2014 are the "Debra Monk Birthday Bash: Totally Hot and a Little Dirty" on Monday, Feb. 24; "Broadway Backwards" on Monday, March 24 and another mini-Broadway Bares event, "Broadway Bares: Solo Strips", in May.

Due to the upcoming closure of Roseland, the longtime home of Broadway Bares, June 2014 will mark the first year that big show will be held at Hammerstein Ballroom -- one of the few New York City venues large enough to accommodate an audience of more than 5,000 people in one night. Mitchell lauded the series growth.

"Isn’t it sensational that Broadway Bares and BC/EFA have grown together to bring so much hope to our community and city," said Mitchell. "With productions of Bares in Vegas and London, who knows where we will next send this all-important boost of confidence to all living with the daily challenges of AIDS?"

Mitchell said that New York’s theater community has been extremely generous with their time in participating in these events, and joked that it was never difficult to get dancers to strip.

"But we are selling much more than flesh at Broadway Bares," said Mitchell. "What we are selling is hope!!!! Dancers, like no other animal (and we are animals, trust me), have a canny ability to NEVER give up. That single quality defines not only each and every dancer who participates in Broadway Bares but the entire Broadway community whom collectively are Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS."

Dancer Daniel Robinson’s association with BC/EFA began when he was performing in the Broadway production of "Hairspray," and wanted to help. He has participated in numerous events for the fund raising and grant making organization, including seven Broadway Bares events, four Easter Bonnet competitions, six Gypsy of the Year events, a Fire Island Bares and two Broadway Bares: Solo Strips. He also helped launch several events, including Winter Burlesque.

"It’s important to do things for others and that are bigger than ourselves," said Robinson. "The AIDS epidemic continues to take its toll on the Broadway community and anything we can do to help support our community, the stronger we become."

Robinson urges everyone to protect themselves and the ones they love, and "open your ears, eyes, heads and hearts" and make a donation to Broadwaycares.org.

If you can’t make it to the event, you can purchase the Broadway Bares 2014 calendar online, or their collection of sexy opening numbers entitled "Openings," or "Backstage Pass," the Broadway Bares coffee table book. Mitchell implored all who are able to make a donation, as "every dollar makes a difference."

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 $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

"Broadway Bares: Winter Burlesque" launches a season that will include "Broadway Bares: Solo Strips" in May and "Broadway Bares 24" in June. "Broadway Bares Winter Burlesque" will be held at 8 and 10 p.m. on Jan. 26 at XL Nightclub, 512 W. 42nd St. in New York City. For tickets or information, visit broadwaybares.com or broadwaycares.org/winterburlesque.


Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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