Broadway Bares Raises $1,430,241 for Broadway Cares

Broadway BaresThe 23rd edition of the popular “Broadway Bares” benefit brought in a record high of funds, raising $1,430,241 for the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Held on June 23 at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom, “Broadway Bares: United Strips of America” brought together 220 of the city’s dancers to show off their skin for a good cause. The event’s theme centered around the idea of a couple taking separate journeys through several U.S. states.

Along with the dancers, “Broadway Bares” featured appearances from numerous Broadway actors and singers, including Billy Porter, Alan Cumming, Christopher Sieber, Max von Essen, Charl Brown, and Jim Newman, as well as American Idol‘s Adam Lambert. Recent Tony winner Judith Light (The Assembled Parties) also made an appearance, as did Andy Cohen of the Bravo network.

Since its modest beginnings with just a few dancers stripping on a bar in 1992, “Broadway Bares” has raised over $11.3 million for BC/EFA. The annual event was created by Broadway director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Hairspray).

The Drama League To Honor Bernadette Peters and More

Bernadette PetersSince 1922, The Drama League Awards have been recognizing excellence in Broadway and Off-Broadway theater, making them America’s oldest theatrical honors. This year, the Drama League — which includes thousands of members across the nation — is bestowing special honors on beloved Tony Award-winning actress and singer Bernadette Peters, acclaimed director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, and The Rockettes (known of course for their yearly appearance in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular).

Bernadette Peters (Follies, Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun) is being given the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award for her decades-long contribution to the art form (her first appearance on Broadway was in The Most Happy Fella in 1959). Jerry Mitchell, who is currently represented on Broadway by the new musical Kinky Boots, is receiving The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing. The Rockettes, along with Madison Square Garden Entertainment, are being given the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award for their longstanding contribution to the promotion of live theater.

The 79th Annual Drama League Awards will be held on May 17 at the Marriot Marquis (home of Broadway’s Marquis Theatre) in Times Square. Visit www.dramaleague.org for more information.

The Honeymooners Becoming a Musical

Michael McGrath

The famed 1950s sitcom The Honeymooners will step onto the musical theater stage in September 2013 at The Old Globe in San Diego.  This new musical version of The Honeymooners features a book by Bill Nuss and Dusty Kay, lyrics by Peter Mills, and music by Stephen Weiner.  Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, The Full Monty) will serve as both director and choreographer.

Taking on the iconic role of Ralph Kramden, made famous by Jackie Gleason, is Michael McGrath, the actor who recently won a Tony Award for his performance as a tough guy bootlegger in Nice Work If You Can Get It on Broadway.

The musical features the classic TV show’s beloved characters, Ralph, his wife Alice, Ralph’s best friend Ed Norton and Ed’s wife Trixie.  However, the musical’s plot is an original storyline in which Ralph and Ed enter a jingle competition and, surprisingly, they win, bringing the blue collar Brooklyn guys into the world of Madison Avenue.