Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home


Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home

Uncovers Fantasies and Newfound Pride

in Online Premiere


Virtual Debut Raises $349,434 So Far

for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS



After more than a year of being homebound and Zoomed out, Broadway Bares turned its signature blend of dance and striptease into all-new, cinematically filmed mini-movies for the unique online premiere of Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home on Sunday, June 20, 2021.


The spectacular stream has raised $349,434 so far for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which also produced the event. The stream continues to be available at and on Broadway Cares’ YouTube channel.


“Broadway Bares is the one night we come together to celebrate dance, our bodies, and, most importantly, helping those in need,” Robyn Hurder from Moulin Rouge! The Musical told the online audience. “Your donations during Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home ensure that folks still struggling in this pandemic can see a doctor, get medication or receive the support they need to thrive.”


The show, directed by Tony Award winner and Bares creator Jerry Mitchell and co-directed by Laya Barak and Nick Kenkel, featured 14 original numbers that opened the doors for 170 dancers to uncover fantasies and discover confidence in the wake of being stuck at home for so long.


To kick off the show in high gear, Jay Armstrong Johnson jumps on his stationary bike for a ride that gets both his and the audience's blood pumping in “Rise and Shine,” a cardio-heightening workout fantasy led by Alec Varcas. The number was created by director and choreographer Nick Kenkel and video editor Daniel Robinson.


Director and choreographer Rickey Tripp showcase six “B.O.S.S.” women taking control of their lives amid the challenges of the last year in a piece filmed and edited by Neville Braithwaite.


In “Pies and Tarts,” director and choreographer Jenn Rose takes on everyone’s favorite new pandemic pastime: baking. When cookbook chef Melody Betts comes to life as a singing diva, she inspires a bevvy of quarantine bakers to shed their clothes for an aprons-only dance party. The piece was edited by Michael Long and Rose.


Combating the monotony of pandemic video meetings, the men of Kellen Stancil’s “Red Room” deliver a Bares twist to this year’s Silhouette Challenge on TikTok. Directors of photography Gianni Howell and Omie Blue of Greater Heights Creative turn a candy-colored conference call into an offline meeting of sinewy bodies as the seven men, led by Marquis Cunningham, exchange their blazers and ascots for leather corsets and stilettos.


“Big Package Delivery'' takes our pandemic online ordering obsession to comedic fruition. Director and choreographer Michael Lee Scott and video editor Alex Basco Koch bring titillating relief to a slew of eager isolators awaiting their special packages - and the men and women who deliver them.


Transported by director and choreographer Dylan Pearce and director of photography Anthony Garrison, drag persona Decorum A. Pabón (aka Calvin Cooper) dives through her wardrobe into a speakeasy world of leather, lace, and libidinous dancers in “Closet Diva.”


Peppermint takes center screen in “Sweats Off,” imploring 16 dancers to strip off their limits and “lean into a new version of you” in an original song by director Frank Boccia with the movement for the video by Stancil.


Choreographer Karla Puno Garcia demonstrates the blessings of alone time in “Me, Myself and I Time,” where the director of photography Pierre Marais captures six dancers in beds of purple satin sheets as they find pleasure in self-care.


In the emotional duet “Alone Together,” dancers Yeman Brown and Gabriel Hyman explore solitude, intimacy, and the range of emotions a couple endured in a small New York apartment during the pandemic. The piece was directed by Ray Mercer and edited by Caue Barcelos.


In “Prom King,” Jalen Preston ventures out of quarantine in search of a Prince Charming at a fantastical pandemic prom, choreographed by James Alonzo White and filmed by director of photography Kevin Chiu.


The dancers in Al Blackstone’s “Mirror Mirror,” who are all dressed up with nowhere to go, find sensuality in taking off their party finery in duets with their own reflections, also filmed by Marais.


Directors and choreographers Laya Barak and Jonathan Lee tap into next-door neighbors’ fanciful desires in “Wet Dream.” Marie Baramo revels as the focus of hot shower fantasies for four of her neighbors, relishing her powers of mind control in the steamy number. Kyle Beckley of Full Out Creative served as director of photography and editor.


Showing off is the sultry central idea for Tomás Matos in “Only Bares,” choreographed by John Alix and directed by Austin Nunes. Matos creates a new social media account that summons a bevy of sensual, slithering admirers from all corners.


The celebratory finale was filmed outside in the heart of Times Square and directed by Mitchell. Bursting out of lockdown, performers dance past Broadway show posters along the streets of Midtown Manhattan before celebrating together on Times Square’s iconic red steps. With more than 80 Broadway Bares dancers, the finale, co-produced by HunterPark Productions, is a love letter to New York as the concrete jungle where dreams are made.


Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein made a special appearance as the show began, with Broadway favorites Hurder, J. Harrison Ghee and Jelani Remy each sharing the impact of donations made throughout the stream.


“Every dollar donated during Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home will help those across the country affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses receive healthy meals, lifesaving medication and more,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said. “As we look toward better and brighter days ahead for everyone, I’m so glad that everyone chose to twerk from home with us.”


Costumes for the virtual presentation were designed by Sam Brooks, Kenwyn Dapo, Jess Gersz, Alexander Cole Gottlieb, Jennifer Jacob, Jeff Johnson-Doherty, James Nguyen, Nicolas Putvniski, Justin Quackenbush, Brendan Tufts, Jeffrey Wallach, TC Williams, and DW WithrowCaite Hevner served as video production manager, joined by more than a dozen editors and directors of photography. Benedict Braxton-Smith led the audio production team of sound and music editors. Bares veteran Johnny Milani returned as production stage manager, leading a team of more than 20 stage managers.


Broadway Bares’ 30th-anniversary celebration, originally set for June 21, 2020, was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The in-person event is set to return in June 2022 to its home at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom and will mark the 30th milestone then.


Broadway Bares was created in 1992 by Mitchell, then a Broadway dancer, as a way to raise awareness and money for those living with HIV/AIDS. In Broadway Bares’ first year, Mitchell and six of his friends danced on a New York City bar and raised $8,000. Since then, Broadway Bares has raised more than $21 million for Broadway Cares.


Last year, tens of thousands of fans around the world “Zoomed In” to watch the first-ever digital edition of Broadway Bares. The show included original numbers, unforgettable moments from past in-person editions, insider stories, and special guest stars from the event’s 29 spectacular years.


Broadway Bares is generously supported by presenting sponsor M∙A∙C VIVA Glam and corporate sponsor Caraa.


Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theater community, since 1988 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and other critical illnesses across the United States.


Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, and the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., providing lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling, and emergency assistance.


For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at, at, at, at, and at

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