Broadway theaters might have been dark the past year because of COVID-19, but the curtain has never gone down on the HIV fundraising efforts of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Although the Broadway hoofers haven’t been high-kicking it in person with live audiences, they’ve put their can-do attitude to work coming up with ingenious ways to raise funds.
Case in point is their annual Broadway Bares spectacular burlesque, a one-night-only extravaganza that’s typically held on a Sunday night toward the end of June to coincide with New York City’s pride festivities. Like last year, this year’s show will be broadcast virtually, but unlike 2020, the dancers are able to rehearse their showstopping finale together—it literally takes place in the streets of Times Square, and PIX 11 TV was there to capture the action (watch the clip below).
This years show, Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home, will be streamed 9 p.m. EST Sunday, June 20, on BroadwayCares.org. You can view the show for free, but donations are encouraged.
“It fuels my heart to be able to dance with such a big group of people,” dancer Tomas Matos told PIX 11.
“I look forward to it,” added Nalina Mann Watkins, another dancer, noting that the fundraising efforts foster a wonderful sense of community among the many participants.
The rehearsal marked the first time many of the dancers had seen each other face to face since the pandemic.
To get a taste of the sensual and sensational entertainment that Broadway Bares delivers, check out this number from the 2019 live show:
The 2020 Broadway Bares was supposed to mark the show’s 30th anniversary. That milestone will now be celebrated in 2022, when it will take place live once again. Last year’s digital Broadway Bares, Zoomed In, raised $596,504.
A number of other virtual fundraisers are coming up, such as auctions for the change to play virtual card games with celebrities such as Lisa Kudrow and Jason Alexander.
Calling all card sharks! Auctions are now open to win a chance to go all in against stars like @IJasonAlexander, @HankAzaria, @Racheldoesstuff, @LisaKudrow and more in virtual Texas Hold ’em games. Auctions close Thursday, June 10, so make your bid now: https://t.co/zZLGqZ6D30 pic.twitter.com/EuaZCMWwEP— Broadway Cares (@BCEFA) May 27, 2021
“As the theater industry looks optimistically toward opening its doors again this fall, I’m thrilled we are able to use what should be the end of this extended intermission to help ensure vital support for those in need,” Broadway Cares executive director Tom Viola said in a press release for the upcoming show. “The money raised through Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home will be a necessary lifeline for individuals across the country still reeling from the effects of this pandemic, challenges that will not quickly or easily fade away.”
Since 1988, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million to provide services to people living with HIV in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC.
Visit BroadwayCares.org to check out their their fundraising efforts—both during and before the COVID-19 pandemic—and learn more about the HIV services they support. The website also includes videos of recent virtual events, including Broadway Backwards, RWQuarantues, Red-Bucket Match-Up and Broadway Barks Across America (which you can watch above).
In related news, see the May 2020 article “Catch Broadway Stars While Fighting HIV and COVID-19 From the Comfort of Your Couch!”
Be sure to follow BCEFA on social media to learn of upcoming concerts and special fundraising events broadcast online.
In related news, check out POZ blogger Richard JMV, who has been recounting his (scantily clad) experiences with Broadway Bares.
For a brighter spotlight on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, read our cover story “The Show Must Go On.”