(Credit: Andrew Werner)
We noticed early on that yesterday’s Broadway Bares: Solo Strips didn’t really have a unifying theme. And we couldn’t have cared less!
This year’s 23rd edition of the smaller, more intimate preview show (directed by Tony Spinosa) took place at XL Nightclub, drawing a huge crowd and selling out the VIP section! The ten dancers starring in the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit made sure the night’s festivities ranked among the sexiest fundraisers of the year.
Bares founder Jerry Mitchell explained to us that this weekend’s main event evolved from the Solo Strips show. “Back in 1992, I was in Will Rogers. I got six guys; we did a solo each at Splash on 17th St. We made $8000… Then I put together a huge show, which evolved after about three years, and that’s how the big event was born. This year we’ll have about 250 dancers at Roseland!” And for you history buffs (wink), you can actually make a donation and receive your own copy of Jerry’s 1992 Solo Strip debut on DVD!
A few of our favorite moments from the show:
• the business man in the TSA line stripping down to his leather harness and boots at the metal detector.
• the graphic of the fasten-seatbelt sign as the pilot un-buckled his belt.
• an amazing “My Heart Belongs to (Leather) Daddy” number.
• the birthday boy making each butt cheek bounce on a chair.
• the birthday boy licking the icing off of his fully extended leg (of course Rihanna was playing!).
• the birthday boy’s momentary misplacement of his party hat at the end of the number.
• the 1920s boxer rubbing his shirt inside of his shorts and tossing it onto a front-row donor’s head (those VIP tickets were worth every penny, honey!)
And the best moment of all: watching the general-admission queens stampede the VIP seating for the Rotation finale (where attendees have the opportunity to approach the stage and personally tip their favorite performers as an additional donation).
If the Solo Strips are any indication of what to expect at Broadway Bares next month, we’ll be there with (just) bells on!