Broadway Bares: Game Night, which was presented June 17 at the Hammerstein Ballroom, raised $1,875,090 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The evening gave game night a tantalizing twist with striptease production numbers inspired by board, video, and arcade games. Watch highlights in the video above.
The show was directed by Nick Kenkel, co-choreographer of Half Time at Paper Mill Playhouse, and Laya Barak, a dancer and choreographer whose work has appeared in the last four editions of Broadway Bares. Aaron Hamilton was the associate director.
The Boys in the Band’s Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesús, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Tuc Watkins appeared as special guests and were challenged with trivia questions. For each incorrect answer by the cast, Carver had to strip off an article of clothing.
Other special guests included Summer Tony nominee Ariana DeBose, The Phantom of the Opera’s Jay Armstrong Johnson, Escape to Margaritaville’s Alison Luff and Rema Webb, recent Kinky Boots star Kirstin Maldonado, Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita, Mean Girls Tony nominee Ashley Park, The Lion King’s L. Steven Taylor, SpongeBob SquarePants’ Wesley Taylor, and two-time Tony winner Judith Light.
These actors joined more than 200 other dancers, including cast members from Anastasia, Angels in America, A Bronx Tale The Musical, Escape to Margaritaville, Frozen, Hamilton, Hello, Dolly!, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, The Phantom of Opera, Pretty Woman, SpongeBob SquarePants, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, and Wicked.
Tony-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who created Broadway Bares in 1992 and serves as executive producer, and two-time Tony winner Light thanked the audience at the show’s close.
Light said, “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.”
Stripathon, the online fundraiser led by the show’s cast and crew, raised a record-breaking $953,153, marking the third year in a row that Stripathon was the single largest contributor to the grand total. This year’s top Stripathon fundraiser was Mark MacKillop, who raised $45,660, the most ever by a Bares performer.
Broadway Bares was created in 1992 by Tony winner Mitchell, then a Broadway dancer, as a way to raise awareness and money for those living with HIV/AIDS. Last year, Broadway Bares raised $1,568,114. To date, Broadway Bares has now raised $19.1 million for Broadway Cares.
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 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.