by Chris Medlin
I have wanted to participate in Broadway Bares for the last couple of years, but was never able to. But this year is different and I finally got to dive into my first Bares! This year’s theme was “Game Night” and everyone came out to play! Students from Strip University were enveloped in an adventure of games coming to life. Everything from Battle Ship, to Ouiji, to Parcheesi. I was in a wild night of Flashlight Tag, choreographed by the fantastic mind of John Alix. One of the things I thought was going to be tough was trying to balance the schedule of a Broadway show with its own rehearsals and events with Broadway Bares rehearsals. But if you want to be there and you work hard for it, they are more than welcoming and would love to have you.
Broadway Cares and the Stripathon fundraising is a way of being involved with and helping the community while conquering a lot of mental hurdles of our own. It’s a rare chance in this industry to acknowledge and celebrate our uniqueness while making a real difference in the world. And by motivating ourselves to bare it all and help others, we’re able to give back to a community that has given us so much. It’s a chance to join our artist family in the greatest city in the world and let our freak flags wave. Broadway Bares gives us all a chance for race, gender, sexuality, and our pasts to be both acknowledged and celebrated! It’s incredible that we are all at such different points of our journeys and that all of our paths crossed here, in this moment. This -Mean- Girl was able to do something -nice- and gain a whole new family!
The day of the show is a long and exciting day. Tech rehearsals, matinee shows, hair and makeup, dress runs... it’s all a blur and suddenly it’s time for doors to open and for the game to be played. The room grows more and more electric! Old friends and new friends fill the house of the Hammerstein Ballroom to help support such a wonderful cause. Everyone backstage is supportive and loving and ready to change things for the better. Everyone out in the house is ready with a wall of energy bursting at the seams to catapult us into the night. The city is drowned in support and love on one of the greatest nights of the year.
Did I have an absolutely wonderful, cathartic first Bares? Yes, I felt like magic the entire night! Was a record breaking amount of money was raised? Yes, over 1.8 MILLION dollars as of the midnight show, in fact! All that was left to do was to celebrate who we are and all that we can be. The growing never stops and, together, we can make the world so much brighter!