Friday, June 15, 2007

Broadway Bares this Weekend!

Today's shout-out:
making the total for the Aubrey Fund as of today

I am blessed to have people like you in my life, dear readers, who support me in my effort to help the Aubrey Fund and Fred's Team, be it financial or spiritual. Thank you.

Tonight needs to be a quickie, because I've got a weekend of naked people ahead of me. Yes, Broadway Bares, the annual strip show at NY's famed Roseland Ballroom, with the proceeds benefitting Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the service organization founded, and funded, by the entertainment community. BCEFA provides grants and funding for AIDS service organizations across America, not just for the entertainment community. There are a number of special events that BCEFA does every year to raise money, such as the Easter Bonnet competition, Gypsy of the Year (a Gypsy being a chorus person, since "back in the day" they led the nomadic gypsy life) Broadway Bears (that one is actually teddy bears dressed up by celebs and auctioned off) the Flea Market, and, of course, Bares.

It's a crazy, crazy weekend, culminating in two shows on Father's Day, at 9:30pm and midnight, because really, what dad wouldn't want to stand in a packed, dirty, stinky old ballroom at midnight and watch 260 dancers get as naked as the law allows? (My dad went. Twice. ) There are a dozen or so original dance numbers featuring Broadway's best dancers, and since it's a strip show, that's how all the numbers end up, and there's straight strip, gay strip, drag strip -- something for everyone.

The highlight of each show is the end "rotation," where the dancers come out on stage -- there are three long runways jutting out onto the dance floor -- and they basically go-go dance for tip money. It's called "rotation" because when they added this to the show, Jason Opsahl was the rotation MC, urging the crowd on, pointing out the dancers, and every few minutes he'd shout "ROOOW-TATE!" and everyone would move to a new runway, so everyone in the crowd could see all the dancers, and the dancers had more people from which to get tips. Jason sadly died of a brain tumor in October of 2002, but, and this is the thing that makes me happy and breaks my heart at the same time, they have a recording of Jason saying "ROOOW-TATE!" and even though there's a new rotation master (usually Chris Seiber) that's what they use to move the dancers. During the rotation the SMs usually help the dancers "unload" their tip money into large bags set off to the sides of the stage. After all, there's not a lot of places for them to hold money. That doesn't prevent people from making sure they get their bills in there. I've pulled money out of places only doctors should be exploring. But it's all for a good cause.

On a side note, Target matches all the tip money made during the rotations, and they have always been very supportive of BCEFA and the Actors Fund, so PLEASE SHOP AT TARGET!

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