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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wonderland — 18th annual Broadway Bares fundraiser

What’s better than a bunch of gym-obsessed Broadway stars dancing their asses off in a theme inspired burlesque show? A bunch of gym-obsessed Broadway stars dancing their asses off in a theme inspired burlesque show with all the proceeds going to charity. Hells yeah!

In just 10 short days the Broadway community will come out to participate in Wonderland — Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids’ 18th annual Broadway Bares fundraiser, executive produced by Jerry Mitchell and directed by Denis Jones. Still not exactly sure what I’m talking about? I’ll break it down for you.

Broadway Cares is “the nation’s leading industry based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization”, offering programs and support to those suffering with the disease. Broadway Cares also works closely with Actor’s Fund and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative to provide a safety net for women in the entertainment industry who are coping with critical health concerns. Obviously the programs can’t run without funding, and so each year the Broadway community generously donates their time (and in this case their clothing) to raise much needed cash for these important programs. Broadway Bares is perhaps the biggest one evening fundraiser of the year, with last years earnings setting a record of $743,787.

Ecorazzi had the chance to sit down with choreographer Connor Gallagher who gave us the inside scoop to all of this year’s shenanigans. Connor first told me how impressed he was that “200 dancers, 13 stage managers, 12 choreographers, tons of assistants, a union tech crew and the Roseland staff all donate their time to come together for such an important event.” He continued, “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced — its people working for a cause that they believe in. The spirit and energy that surround the show is nothing like I’ve ever experienced.”

Connor also told me that this year MAC cosmetics will not only be donating a huge team of make-up artists and products, but that they will also be matching, dollar for dollar, all the money raised during the StripAThon — a separate fundraising portion of the event where dancers raise money through acquiring sponsors.

So if you wanna support a great cause and see the members of your favorite Broadway show strip down to their skivvies, visit the Broadway Cares website and get your tickets today!
By Parrish

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