Theater followers have come to treat the annual Broadway Bares fundraiser as each an attractive spectacle and a chance to indulge their passions as soon as the Tony Awards have handed. For actor, dancer and choreographer John Alix, nonetheless, the occasion is a household affair in multiple respect.
On June 16, greater than 150 of New York’s most sinewy performers ― together with solid members from “Hamilton,” “Hadestown” and “Wicked” ― will hit the stage of Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom for “Broadway Bares: Take Off.” The 29th installment of the annual Broadway-meets-burlesque profit is billed as “a spectacular evening of sky-high striptease” with a globetrotting theme that can “put the lust in wanderlust.”
(Catch a sneak peek at this yr’s present within the trailer above.)
The primary Broadway Bares was staged in 1992 by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, who went on to direct the smash musicals “Hairspray” and “Kinky Boots.” Earlier themes have included 2012’s horny storybook “Happy Endings” and 2016’s techie fantasy “On Demand.” Alongside the best way, the occasion has raised a reported $19.1 million for Broadway Cares/Fairness Fights AIDS, a nonprofit group devoted to AIDS-related causes throughout the U.S.
Alix, who danced within the 2006 movie “Step Up” and within the off-Broadway smash “Fuerza Bruta,” attended his first Broadway Bares in 2007 earlier than becoming a member of the next yr’s manufacturing as a alternative performer. His preliminary viewing got here simply months after his father, Jack, died of an AIDS-related sickness roughly 30 days after being identified as HIV optimistic.
The mission of Broadway Bares, in addition to its frequent concurrence with Father’s Day, resonates deeply with Alix, who has danced or choreographed for the fundraiser for a complete of 12 years.
“It becomes the one time of the year when I can kind of check in with him, and be there with him,” the Washington, D.C., native advised HuffPost. The elder Alix, he stated, constructed a profession as a radio disc jockey and “loved anything with a [performance] aspect” to it. “I think he would appreciate the show ― not only its message, but the showmanship of it,” he stated.
Over time, Alix has come to view Broadway Bares as “my gift to my dad for Father’s Day,” and believes his father has made his presence recognized, too.
“At one point, we were in tech rehearsal,” he recalled. “We had an empty stage; the lights had gone to a rainbow effect, and there was a Diet Coke can on the table that said ‘Dad’ on it. And I just … I lost it.”
“Every year there’s something along those lines,” he added, “where I just feel his presence.”
As in earlier years, Broadway Bares boasts an LGBTQ-inclusive solid, making it an unofficial Pleasure kickoff for each performers and attendees. The 2019 version coincides with World Pleasure, which is being held in New York this yr to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion.
At director Laya Barak’s request, Alix created the present’s penultimate quantity ― an homage to Stonewall and the symbolic begin of the fashionable LGBTQ rights motion in a means that options loads of that signature Broadway Bares sizzle.
“The idea is that we’re going to places where we can celebrate each other and enjoy freedom without any kind of judgment,” Alix stated. “When you go to Stonewall, you always feel like you belong. … My lead is a transgender woman. I have a trans man in my cast as well. I have all shapes, sizes and colors. I didn’t want anything to look uniform at all.”
Alix’s longstanding involvement with Broadway Bares means he’s come to view most of the present’s solid and creatives as a selected household of kinds. He stated he hopes first-time performers and viewers members “feel the electric love” he did 12 years in the past as he mourned the lack of his father.
“My only hope is that someone else is as affected as I was that first year, even if it’s just one person,” he stated.
“Broadway Bares: Take Off” performs New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom June 16 for 2 performances.
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