Broadway Bares XXII: Happy Endings Raises $1.2 Million; Breaks Fund-Raising Record for BC/EFA
By Michael Gioia
Broadway Bares XXII: Happy Endings, a fairytale evening of modern-day burlesque that was presented June 17 at the Roseland Ballroom, raised more funds than any previous Broadway Bares production. Broadway's sexiest night of the year, which featured 227 New York dancers, raised a record-breaking $1,254,176 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Last year's Masterpiece edition set the previous record at $1,103,072.
With this year's record total, the 22 editions of Broadway Bares have now raised more than $9.8 million for BC/EFA. The 20th anniversary edition in 2010 was the first to break $1 million.
Broadway Bares was created by Tony Award-winning director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who serves as executive producer. It is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, led by producing director Michael Graziano. The 2012 edition was conceived by director Lee Wilkins with associate director Michael Lee Scott.
Broadway Bares XXII: Happy Endings, according to producers, "transformed our favorite fairytales into crazy-hot, spectacular come-to-life stories as told by a bevy of Broadway's best performers. From Snow White to Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio to The Pied Piper, Broadway Bares XXII spun the classics into contemporary fantasy as more than 6,000 people packed Roseland Ballroom for two sold-out performances."
Highlights from the evening, according to a BC/EFA statement, included:
An opening number featuring Kyle Dean Massey (Next to Normal), who portrayed a young man lost in a world where he didn't fit in until Miriam Shor (TV's "GCB") appeared as his fairy godmother. Backed by her "Damnettes" and singing a double-entendre-filled original song "Happy Endings," written by Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar (Elf, The Wedding Singer). Shor turned to an "enchanted book" to show Massey, whose character appeared throughout the show, that every fairy tale deserves a happy ending. Wilkins, Kristen Beth Williams and Mark Myars choreographed the elaborate opening.
Bollywood inspired an interpretation of "Aladdin," featuring Reed Kelly (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) in the lead role. The high-energy number with bedazzled costumes and fast-paced, intricate choreography by Dontee Kiehn and Monica Kapoor, included three limber aerialists, choreographed by Ryan Lyons, spinning above the dancers on a giant genie bottle.
"Puss in Boots" celebrated woman power as Candice Monet McCall (Memphis) transformed into a cat-like diva leading an all-female gang that encountered a well-heeled posse of boot-wearing, shirtless men led by Charlie Sutton (Wicked). The showdown, choreographed by Wilkins, John Alix and Derek Mitchell, turned into a fierce, sword-fighting dance off.
As "Goldilocks," an adorably sexy Andy Mills (Memphis) found more than just three bears as a stage full of hairy grizzlies surrounded him in a number choreographed by Michael Lee Scott. The naughty bears led Goldilocks to a floating love den that propelled him and his aerialist keeper Armando Farfan Jr. high above the stage as the grizzlies dipped into their honey pots.
The Broadway Bares version of "The Pied Piper," played by Marty Lawson (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), rousted an all male, kilt-clad ensemble that teased the audience with a high-energy, high-jumping, bare-bottomed step dance, choreographed by Peter Gregus.
The story of "The Ugly Duckling" took on bullying as Brandon Rubendall (Anything Goes) helped outcast Adar Wellington (Peepshow) embrace both her inner and outer beauty in a moving piece choreographed by Nick Kenkel.
Evita's Rachel Potter led the full Broadway Bares company in the evening's high energy finale, "Happily Ever After," which offered its own storybook ending complete with John Carroll (Follies) as Massey's Prince Charming.
Choreographers that took part in Happy Endings included Marc Kimelman and aerialist choreographer Brandon Perayda ("Sleeping Beauty"), Stephanie Klemons ("Rapunzel"), Lorin Latarro ("Pinocchio"), Josh Rhodes ("Snow White") and Charlie Williams ("Mirror, Mirror").
Making special appearances were Academy Award-nominee Jennifer Tilly and New York drag queen Lady Bunny. Tony Award nominee Christopher Sieber and Rachelle Rak led the show's famous "rotation," where the entire cast appears on stage to receive individual tips from audience members. Tony Award winner Judith Light (Other Desert Cities) also made an appearance, and sponsor M•A•C Viva Glam delivered a $250,000 check, presented by Nancy Mahon, M•A•C senior vice president and executive director of the M•A•C AIDS Fund.
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 $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
View a photo sideshow of the opening number:
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