The 2023 edition of annual burlesque fundraiser Broadway Bares brought in $1,887,014 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Two performances of the Pleasure Park-themed event were held on June 18 at the Hammerstein Ballroom as a kickoff to New York City’s Pride Week.
Each show culminated in a “rotation,” where the cast encouraged monetary tips from the audience. This year’s rotation raised $22,553.
In addition to monies raises by the rotation and ticket sales, Broadway Bares also hosted an online Stripathon led by the show’s cast and crew. This year, the Stripathon raised $1,011,499. Dancer Mark MacKillop raised $112,104 with his stripathon, the most ever by an individual.
The “Broadway Bares: Pleasure Park” cast featured Joanna “JoJo” Levesque, Nick Adams, Kyle Brown, Stephen DeRosa, Taurean Everett, 2023 Tony Award winner Alex Newell, Justin Prescott, Constantine Rousouli and Aléna Watters. They joined the previously announced Jonathan Burke, 2023 Tony winner J. Harrison Ghee, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Mykal Kilgore, Marty Thomas and Jessica Vosk. The event also featured nearly 200 dancers representing 14 different Broadway shows from the 2022-2023 season.
This year’s show featured an opening number by Amanda Green and Lynne Shankel. Mykal Kilgore sang his original song “Came Here For Love” as the closing number with ‘Bares’-adapted lyrics by Kyle Ewalt. The book for “Broadway Bares: Pleasure Park” was written by Hunter Bell, Steven Cutts and Troy Britton Johnson. Production stage manager Johnny Milani with Sarah Helgesen and T.J. Kearney led a team of 42 stage managers and more than 600 volunteers to mount the show.
“Broadway Bares: Pleasure Park” featured lighting design by Joel Shier, sound design by Nick Borisjuk and scenic design by Jason Lee Courson. Jeffrey Wallach was the costume coordinator. Megan Burke and Ian Joseph coordinated hair and wig design. Caite Hevner managed video design.
Broadway Bares creator Jerry Mitchell, who was honored with the 2023 Isabelle Stevenson Special Tony Award, addressed the crowd at the end of the evening.
“Amazing things happen when you show up,” Mitchell said. “That’s what all of you have done year after year, decade after decade. You’ve all shown up in the ways that only you can and only you know how to and it will always make a difference.”
“Broadway Bares: Pleasure Park” received support from presenting sponsor M∙A∙C Viva Glam and lead corporate sponsors United Airlines and ViiV Healthcare.