Gone to the dogs! (All live images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund)
As always, enjoy my report on Broadway Bares, and feel free to chime in with names for anyone I failed to ID. All my Facebook pics are here. Thanks!
Broadway Bares, the annual, one-night-only, two-shows-only burlesque event that raises cash for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, was back for a 27th installment on June 18, accepting thousands of new students in a revue entitled Strip U. It raised a total of $1,568,114 for the cause.
No SAT, no shade: Strip U was the kind of baby-got-back-to-school experience that promised to keep you up many sleepless nights in the future — and not with nightmares about forgetting your locker com or being late to class.
Overall, this show — directed by Nick Kenkel — was the apple of my eye among recent installments of Bares, an impressive return to form that passed with flying colors while demonstrating its mastery of diversity (race, age, body size, gender) and of the core skills that make these shows so much fun in the first place (dancing, humor, exhibitionism).
The only area in which this Bares could be called lacking when graded on a curve against the best ones of all time was star power, a commodity that has been on the wane for years. But who needs big-name stars when the show has so many homegrown stars, (anatomically) gifted hoofers more than capable of owning the stage? (Okay, it would've been fun to see Bette Midler's girls. But we've seen them before.)
Locky Brownlie goes for extra credit!
We arrived at the Hammerstein Ballroom two hours early for the midnight show, putting us right near the front of the amorphous line of young gay guys in aggressively cute shorts pretending they didn't even try with their outfits and enough drooling daddies that the show's traditional placement on Father's Day was, as always, humorously literal.