Backstage at “Broadway Bares”: The Afterglow
We tapped actor Andrew Glaszek to give us a personal report (talk about going undercover or, in this case, under covered as a performer in the show) from Sunday night’s Broadway Bares extravaganza. Check out his blow by blow coverage, backstage pics and some cheeky links (just click on the highlighted words for some surprising finds)…
Do you believe in fairies, Mary? Well, with the amount of clapping (+ hootin’ & hollerin’) at Roseland Sunday night, Tink & the whole fairy kingdom must be flyin’ high. Hopefully, the cast & crew, designers, volunteers, and the team at BC/EFA can rest well and enjoy the afterglow of HAPPY ENDINGS - Broadway Bares XXII. The show produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has been the buzz for months as those involved took part in a Strip-a-thon to add $300,000+ to the total raised in ticket sales, corporate sponsorship ($250,000 from M•A•C VIVA GLAM!), and cash tips at the event for a grand total of $1,254,000 – a new record.
On the stage and runways, over 200 dancers & actors titillated the full house with revealing new takes on classic Fairy Tales that would’ve made Mother Goose wet her feathers and The Brothers Grimm… very, very… happy. When you are out exploring FB and YouTube for pics and show clips, say “bottoms up” with a shot of tequila in honor of Jerry Mitchell, the creator and Executive Producer, Michael Graziano, Producing Director and Lee Wilkins who conceived and directed this year’s show with associate director Michael Lee Scott.
The skinny on the show sounds like a segment on SNL - so cue Wayne Wilcox’s ”Stefon” impression & trust that every year the hottest show in town is Broadway Bares. Here’s a taste of a few of my favorite tips and assets from Happy Endings:
Vulgarian Godmother: In the opening number, my fellow Michigander, Miriam Shor (Hedwig And The Angry Inch, GCB) sang “Happy Endings”, an original song written by Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar (Elf, The Wedding Singer), introduced us to her back up singers – The GodDamnettes (Flora, Fauna &… Effie!!!), and shared a book of blue rhymes that highlighted her C.U.N.T. (Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent!) Take that you Vagina-phobic MI GOP-ers!
Racial Shape-shifters & Red-headed Overachievers: Reed Kelly (Spiderman) turned it out and sported a darker hue to give us Alladin-realness on top of bringing in $30K+ to take home the tiara for top fundraiser in the Strip-a-thon. Other multi-taskers included Kristen Beth Williams currently in Nice Work… (and recently covered for former Bares guest Sutton Foster as Reno in the current Bway Anything Goes) who danced in and choreographed the opening number, captained her team to 2nd place Strip-a-thon honors, and was recently elected to an AEA council seat. What did you do this week?!
Flying Drawerless Kiltsmen: Peter Gregus (Jersey Boys) choreographed a Pied Piper number featuring the dreamy Marty Lawson (How to Succeed…) in which the dancers showed everything but their…peter pipers…when their kilts dropped in an ass-bearing handstand line – the best line of cheeks since Fantasy Football (if I do say so myself .
Double Headed Hoofers & Moonlighting Nuns: The show is one-night only double show day and fits easily in the schedule for casts of shows that are dark on Sundays, but for dancers who have shows on Sundays like the handsome and charming Peter Nelson & Brian Spitulnik (both in Chicago) and the gorgeous Alena Watters (Sister Act) among others, it’s a 3 or 4 show day that starts with a 9am call at Roseland! #WhatIDidForLove
Dirty Daddys & Gropey Grandpas: After each performance, there are “Rotations” where the performers take to the runways en masse to go-go for tips that go to BC/EFA. While most audience members respect the dancers and show love for their friends or fan favorites, some get a little handsy. Imagine the look on a guys face when they grab a little too much for a dollar and before they can get away they get their wrist held until they empty their wallet. This boy don’t play. Buddy, Beware!
Honey Slinging Bears: The fuzz friendly and big boy fans were treated to Goldilocks and The 3 Bears… or what seemed like 30 Bears. The number featured Bares favorites Justin Smith, Michael Blatt and Andy Mills (Memphis) & a stage full of hot daddies (it was Father’s Day afterall) and ended with little Andy being hoisted above the crowd in a sling and mounted by aerialist Armando Farfan Jr.
Hair-raising Diva: If you’re going to go Gaga over “Rapunzel” you need someone who knows hair, naturally. Thankfully BC/EFA has a friend who’s the best in the business in Daniel Koye (Follies, Mormon, Patti’s Gypsy). His wigs (those that you know are wigs and those that you’d never guess didn’t grow out of the heads of the men and women in the show), hair team including my fellow WSU alum Michael Serapiglia, and DKoye products make the show sparkle like the crystals on his bottles. Some of the best cuts on the guys in the show are Daniel’s work – including mine. I also love his Smoothing Cream (so does Bernadette Peters.)
Dancing Dwarfs: Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Women On The Verge…) was a scintilatting Snow White and teased seven of the hottest guys under 5’5″ (just guessing guys) to Shirley Bassey’s “I Only Want Some”.
Celebs That Care & Hot Up & Comers: Kyle Dean Massey (Lucky Guy, Next To Normal) gave the show a bone – a backbone that is by starring as the boy in search of his prince who he finally finds when John Carroll (Follies) rises to the occasion (literally out of the floor) and then marries him right off while Rachel Potter (the Mistress in Evita, Addams Family) sang Rihanna’s “We Found Love” – try to get that song out of your head. Jennifer Tilly (Don’t Dress For Dinner, Bullets Over Broadway) appeared to berate the boy and the audience as The Evil Stepmother and Drag Royalty, Lady Bunny cut it up with Rapunzel. But Judith Light (Other Desert Cities TONY winner) showed us Who’s The Boss by giving the closing remarks and even joined the crowd during Rotations pointing out dancers and encouraging those around her to tip. We love her!
Buff in The Buff: In addition to John Carroll, our Buffs were well displayed thoughout – Nick Kenkel (Evita) choreographed “The Ugly Duckling” featuring Constantine Rousouli (Ghost) learning about true beauty from some gorgeous swans including Sam Cahn (Memphis), Charlie Sutton (Lysistrata Jones) lead some well-heeled men including Wayne Wilcox (Chaplin) to challenge a certain “Puss In Boots”, and Brian Spitulnick (Chicago) learned how to cut the puppet strings and become a real boy from his bad influence “Pinocchio”.
So, if you’re ever planning a trip to NYC for Pride Week, come a day early and see Broadway Bares. AND PLEASE REMEMBER WHY THESE BEAUTIFUL & TALENTED PEOPLE DO THIS SHOW – TO BENEFIT BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS… go to http://www.broadwaycares.org/strip-a-thon2012 to show your support by donating – search to find your favorite… maybe me or one of the Buffs – these fundraising pages will be live through the rest of this summer!
Everything Andrew Glaszek knows, he learned from musical theatre – including how to raise over $15K for BC/EFA in Strip-a-thon this year, his 7th Broadway Bares not including 2 Bares on Fire Island. Then he forgets it temporarily at the Bares Afterparty at Industry. Look for more of him here… and with Sebastian LaCause and Daphne Rubin-Vega in the second season of Hustling later this year.