Dozens of images in the above gallery, kicked off by that heart-stopping Patrick Boyd snap.
ABOUT THIS POST: Please let me know of any names I got wrong or am missing. Please feel free to pluck photos for posting on Facebook (not the nudes), but tag me and the people in them. Shots too naughty for this blog appear at my adult tumblr (Work Unfriendly). And finally, my main Bares review is here. Enjoy, and please donate to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
In the gallery above, enjoy some hot images from the "Rotation" sequence of Broadway Bares: United Strips of America.
Below, a few stand-out images with dancers and/or situations identified.
ABOUT THIS POST: Please let me know of any names I got wrong or am missing. Please feel free to pluck photos for posting on Facebook, but tag me and the people in them. Shots too naughty for this blog appear at my adult tumblr (Work Unfriendly). And finally, a whole separate post for "Rotation" photos is here. Enjoy, and please donate to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
As most of my readers know, I am obsessed with Broadway Bares, the annual show that benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Part of recovery is learning to admit you have a problem, and I have no qualms acknowledging that for someone wholly uninvolved with the production, I spend entirely too much time thinking about Bares.
Peter Nelson...that's the ticket!
I think about Bares so much that I have its many stand-out performers dancing around in my head in the days leading up to the show. This year, two days out, I spotted Peter Nelson—featured prominently in signage for the show—riding his bike, and promptly Facebooked that I'd seen him, and that it might herald the beginning of summer. Never mind that I've only met him briefly a couple of times. He gamely "liked" my comment and replied; a friend and I had been joking about this in terms of stalking, but I told him even most of my arresting officers agree that stalking has to be done on purpose, and chance encounters like this are just luck—his bad, my good.
Instead of laying off a bit this year, I doubled down—I decided to attend both the 9:30 and midnight shows. My reasoning was that perhaps I'd get lots of great photos from the first show and could then relax and watch the second one. This is the pretty lie I told myself.
I wound up with extra tickets for 9:30, so figured I'd pick them up early at the Roseland, around 3, and try to give them away. As I got my tickets, who is the only dancer walking up at 3 but Peter Nelson. We said hello and I promptly prayed for death; I hated the idea that he might think I was camped out at the theater hours early. If I made too much of a nuisance of myself, I worried I'd wind up in a half-Nelson, which isn't nearly as much fun as the full Monty.
I couldn't get rid of my tickets, so I offered the agents a swap—three G.A. tickets for VIP standing for the first show. Deal! I found myself in line with two really sweet guys, one of whom wound up being the boy pulled onstage by Brandon Rubendall in a video I'd shot for Boy Culture! It's a small, perverted world.
The most gorgeous guy ever came by selling souvenirs and making change; I just couldn't believe he wasn't a performer with an ass so bewitching it had something similar to the Medusa's power to turn men into stone upon viewing it. (Well, at least parts of them.) He gamely posed for a photo, thinking he'd never see it again. Later, I realized it was none other than Justen Kilmer, and had to beg him to let me post them. He thinks he looks out of shape, I think he looks like the last thing a straight man sees before swearing off pussy. You be the judge.
Not that we couldn't have watched the 250-pound drag queen working the entrance to Lucky Cheng's across the way all night, but it was a relief when they let us in early as a break from the steamy heat. Having never been to the first show, I was shocked to see very specific places to stand for priority vs. VIP vs. G.A. attendees, clearly marked off by ropes. I was afforded a spot flush against the central catwalk, a seemingly golden position. Determined to take great photos, I had to consciously overlook the wall-sized posters positioned everywhere, begging us to "respect the performers" and refrain from taking pictures. See, putting Peter Nelson's bare butt on a poster demanding that I not take a picture of it just does not work for me.
In a twist of fate, I now own this giant "don't photograph the dancers" poster. Peter has to sign it!
Unfortunately, my spot lost its charm early on. In spite of the gorgeous Latin guy across from me whose dark skin glowed under the blue gels, I had to deal with a jerk in front of me who pushed his way in after I'd staked my spot. He also maneuvered to get two more friends against the stage, pressing me into the seam between the catwalk and its circular termination. Not comfy, but a good way to brace myself for disrespecting every performer who came near. (Later in the show, he leaned back hard on me to get me to back off, so I said directly into his ear, "My shoulder is in the exact same spot it was when I first got here. You're pushing me. I'm not moving—at all—and I'm not going anywhere." He stopped.)
A male/female singing duo called The Skivvies took to to stage as the openers, or as they put it, the "fluffers." They were fun, singing a medley of America-themed songs. (But no "American Life," boo.) The adorable dude, Nick Cearley, went bare-assed at the end, but too quickly for me to shoot...yet another reason seeing both shows would come in handy.
Finallly, it was time for Broadway Bares 23: United Strips of America to begin. From here on out, I'm talking about both shows combined, mixing and matching the best of both worlds.
First, let me get out of the way my scant criticisms. (Hey, I'm slavishly devoted to the show, but it can't all be goodness and Judith Light.) I thought the show overall was less special than some previous years have been. I wasn't wild about the American theme, which gave us numbers based on states like Nebraska, Maine and Georgia, and the writing was not funny. It was also a huge let-down that Cyndi Lauper didn't "surprise" us; she did Bares one other time and she and the show's creator Jerry Mitchell just won Tonys for Kinky Boots, so a visitation seemed a shoo-in. There are so many gigantic stars on Broadway who would've been a treat to have pop up, not least of which was Bette Midler. If Bette had shown up in a towel, it would have been legendary.
But really, these complaints are not meant as attacks or to downplay the incredible stamina and talent of everyone involved; it's like ranking orgasms or Madonna tours...they're all amazing, even if some are your favorites and some are not.
On the plus side, the show, directed by Nick Kenkel, had to overcome not featuring some of its most high-profile performers from years past, including Matt Skrincosky, Josh Buscher, Matthew Steffens, Brandon Rubendall, Andy Mills, Guto Bittencourt, Steven Wenslawski and many others, and did so admirably, minting new stand-outs (though all had done the show before) like Nelson, Patrick Boyd, Jamal Story, Daniel Robinson, and others. And as for the choreography (by Kenkel, Derek Mitchell, Paul McGill, Michael Lee Scott, Al Blackstone, Jon Rua, Peter Gregus, Kate Rockwell, Marcos Santana, Mark Myars and Marc Kimelman), it was never less than rigorously entertaining.
Also catching my eye was the fact that the show felt more ethnically diverse, less overwhelmingly male and more peopled with mature men.
Max and Michael (top and bottom...one hopes), envision a Miss America with testicles.
The show's conceit is that two gay lovebirds (my boo Michael Cusumano as "Jay" and formerly mustachioed Evita star Max von Essen as "Jason") are stranded on opposite coasts, so wil travel cross-country and meet in Nebraska (of all places). Both are beyond adorable, though were not given as much to do as last year's central pair, Kyle Dean Massey and John Carroll (neither of whom were in the show this time around). They do make a disturbingly cute couple—cute enough that I could've stood more flesh from both!
The hosts with the most attitude, Sieber and Margherita.
Daniel Lynn Evans and Sidney Erik Wright get a leg up on the competition.
Miss Georgia thinks of a polite way to threaten to "cut a bitch."
Giving America what it wants: Sidney Erik Wright's nipples???
John Paul LaPorte was pageant-ready.
They hope for world piece.
The kick-off number—"United States of America"—featured Christopher Sieber (revealing shots of him here) and Lesli Margherita as smarmy beauty-pageant hosts, sniping at each other as they announce the Top 10. Cusumano and von Essen are picking the show apart by phone, and wind up fantasizing what it would be like if the producers gave America what it really wants...which turned out to be drag queens and hosts who are way into the SM scene—and whose safe word appears to be, "Harder!" Sieber looks good in a harness, by the way.
Next up, my buddy Andrew Glaszek, one of the show's most visible stars year after year (he's done 10 in a row!), headed up Team "New York" as they offered their take on Madonna's "Vogue," playing a photographer who will bend over backwards to get the hottest shots of model Robb Sherman, who's never looked more striking.
Andrew Glaszek was the night's big shooter.
In the process of being Robbed.
For Jon Cooper and Michael Prince, there's nothin' to it.
Team New York, deep in vogue.
The choreography was light on this one, more about hitting the poses, but I loved the styling; so much ginger and the strong brows on the likes of Dave August and Michael Prince were fierce. (Since a little more skin is always in, click here if you're not at work.)
"I'll show you mine if you show me yours..."
Dodge and (Katy) Perry.
Daniel Robinson: Life's a beach and then you strip.
"California" (snippet of video here) was up next, using Katy Perry's "California Gurls" as an excuse for delicious Daniel Robinson, a lifeguard, to perform mouth-to-mouth before getting into a conga line for a little mouth-to-ass. Speaking of ass, you can see his here in all its glory.
CHECK OUT THE "WORK UNFRIENDLY" SHOTS AT MY TUMBLR.
My pal Jason had to remind me about Broadway Bares: Solo Strips at XL tonight, which I attended following a friend's book-signing. It was pretty crowded, probably because there was only one show this time.
I bought an inseam's worth of raffle tickets from the one on the left. I lost, but still won.
The audience contained plenty of Broadway Bares-backers, including many who'd shucked their clothes in the past for the same cause: To raise cash for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Andrew Glaszek and Matthew Steffens were among those scouting the competition. (Okay, okay: Supporting friends. Okay, fine: Ogling friends.)
Above, a gallery filled with sexy bodies and skin, skin, skin
The program was as lean as its stars, featuring short but sweet (more like fast and dirty) performances of the variety that used to get ladies with bad reputations hauled off to the hoosegow just a few decades ago. But as always, the men of Broadway Bares managed to be racy without getting distastefully raunchy. Maybe it's because, as Broadway professionals, they never forget to SMILE.
Check out my full Broadway Bares "Winter Burlesque" coverage from yesterday by clicking here, and see all the Work Unfriendly images here. But above, click through a fat gallery of sexy shots that you could conceivably view while your maiden aunt peers over your shoulder.
Last night was the Broadway Bares installment "Winter Burlesque," a pastiche of past numbers and new naughtiness that blew hot and hotter on a cold New York night. And to think, it was all to benefit a good cause—Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Plenty of cock 'n' tail for the two-cocktail minimum
Not saying I stole this life-sized Guto Bittencourt poster, just saying it disappeared
I arrived less than an hour early and was still one of the first in the house, the house being XL on W. 42nd across the street from my apartment. I planted myself directly in front of the catwalk's end, just behind the section of the club that had been roped off for higher-paying guests who wanted to watch the show from a seated position like civilized perverts. (I got to snap another photo of XL's hottest server, at left, waiting on some.)
Matt Anctil & furry friend were swapping gropes for raffle ticket sales
NOTE: Low-res videos of some of the show's hottest numbers are here. Hi-res and ultra-dirty photos from the show that I am not allowed to reveal on my blog are or will soon be available here. (Follow my tumblr, please.)
I was next to the house videographer and some guys who shyly confessed to being Bares-backers for many years—they own all of the official DVDs and know many of the dancers' names. If only they knew my own past with the show, they'd have realized they were in good company.
And baby got back
The show started with a bang—stunning Judah Gavra emerged, let his coat slip away to reveal his naked ass and then gestured to the title card revealing that the show's first number was to be "Burlesque is Back".
Angie Schworer sang the number, a saucy celebration of the art of getting naked on a stage, with the right amount of humor and bawdy sexiness. She reminded me of Wendi McLendon-Covey meets Jane Krakowski. And speaking of crack, she and her bevy of beauties didn't skimp on the skimpy outfits.
Wenslawski's "Big Hunk o' Love"
"Fringe Benefits," a classic Bares number with an Elvis theme, may have been performed before, but lead dancer Steven Wenslawski made it his own and made the audience his bitches while he was at it. When he shook his butt at us, it was with all the confidence of someone who knows that while beauty is only skin deep, it's still awfully nice to have it.
Please let me know if you ID anyone in these photos so I can credit them. Please don't take any images unless you credit them to me. Thanks and enjoy! More coverage here.
It was that time of year again—another Broadway Bares fleshfest to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS—and we were late. My buddy Jason and I walked up to the Roseland around 10:15PM ahead of the midnight show, and the line had already wrapped around onto Broadway. I figured everything would work out, and yet I also swore that 2013 would be my year to see both the 9:30PM and midnight shows to double up on photos and videos.
Andy Mills is so hot he must have some beanstalkers out there
We'd been to the show many times before. In fact, you can flash back to those times here, here, here and here.
A sign posted before the show reminded us that photography was disrespectful to the participants, yet their excitement at being asked to pose told a different story. Why look amazing and wear an outlandish outfit if you're not going to let people document you for posterity?
Let's start with the best video: "Rotation"
In line we were joking with friends and came up with a parody that Jackie Beat needs to do—"Christian Fister" set to "Sister Christian", all about a holier-than-thou Bible-thumper who's secretly a pig bottom. These are the kinds of things that get said while waiting to see 200+ dudes and chicks in the almost-buff. That and the remark that Elena Roger is so hated in Evita thaf if she were to do Broadway Bares the crowd would root for HIV. Don't get made at me—I liked the production! (P.S. More seriously, why couldn't Ricky Martin have done Bares this year?)
A Smashing good time was had by all (thanks to Greg for these 2 pix)
My pal Greg exited the first show and promptly told us of seeing Christian Borle (formerly married to Sutton Foster, a piece of trivia that bears repeating at every opportunity), Steve Kazee and Will Chase (all pictured above) entering the midnight show together as VIPs, but mostly we were scoping out the rather hot crowd. We'd just done Folsom Street East earlier in the day (100s of photos coming soon) and it can be hard to turn off being turned on.
Hirsute is back! No stopping me when love handles come back in.
Inside, we dashed to the central of three stages and I glaciered my way from one body away to being right at the stage. It seemed to me to be an ideal spot, though there is an argument to be made against being too close—I wound up shooting straight up at some of the performers, which worked out well in cases where we're talking about a lead performer in a kilt.
Tinkerbelle of the ball
A wandering stud fondled this undercover agent pre-show
Before the show, which was themed to fairy tales, two lovely ladies fluttered overhead like gigantic Tinkerbells as sexy boys made the rounds selling memorabilia but giving everything else away in their skimpy outfits. There was a childlike sense of wonder in the air as well as the rather more grown up scent of balls. One had to be careful not to slip in the pools of Pavlovian drool once the lights went down signaling the main event was about to unfold.
The opening, "Happy Endings", was one of the most spectacular I can remember, a light-hearted romp starring superfit Kyle Dean Massey (those jean shorts were so lucky) as The (Gay) Boy and GCB's Miriam Shor as his Fairy Godmother. "Well, I used to be a good Christian bitch," she announced. "Now—I'm just a bitch."
Bet leggy Kyle Dean Massey has never needed help seeking happy endings
Kyle & Miriam were a Shor thing
But a well-intentioned bitch, and one who promised to help him find his own happy ending via a magical song she performed with backing by her Goddamnettes (Holly Davis, Chelsea Morgan Stock and Dan'Yelle Williamson)—it was consistently hysterical and bawdy.
These guys started great...
...but ended even better! (Jeff Metzler front—and back—'n' center!)
How can you not like a song that seamlessly segues into a limerick containing the word "cunty"?
This was after Josh's third trip to dump money backstage
Last night wasBroadway Bares: Solo Strips at XL in NYC, which is a sort of appetizer for the main event, Broadway Bares on June 17 @ Roseland. The concept is that 10 Broadway dancers do brief striptease routines for a paying crowd and then shake their literal moneymakers afterward, being generous with at least their tips in search of generous tips in order to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The new WTC building had nothing on her
Waiting for my sidekick, I watched a 6'4" (guessing) drag queen sashaying in and wondered if she could touch the ceiling inside. Just was hoping she wouldn't be standing in front of me; tall people can be such (high) heels about that sort of thing.
When I went in, I was crestfallen to hear a woman at the door reminding everyone not to take any pictures. If something happens and no pictures are taken, did it really happy at all? She didn't tell me, so that was my out, but I was kinda worried until the show began and nobody seemed to care.
A tasteful shot of tasty Matt
These events can be aspirational, considering all the ridiculously built men milling about (onstage and off), and yet when I hugged charming (and single, boys!) Matt Skrincosky, who has to believe I'm a stalker by now and who was one of the perfect specimens selling raffle tickets, it had the dual effect of motivating and making me think, "What's the use?"
He swore my raffle ticket would win!
I was at the stairs so had a fairly good view. There was, of course (as there always is) one tall asshole (kidding, but I've always found vertically gifted people to be a lot more entertaining horiztonal) in the exact spot where some of the down-and-dirtiest grinding was happening, but overall I was happy to capture a few sizzling moments. I ran into my Broadway Bares bud Andrew Glaszek, who is apparently at every event in existence and has already slept with everyone I have a crush on; he's younger, but could be my mentor. Or maybe my chorus-boy rabbi.
A reminder: Be sure you donate $ to this worthy cause if you're gonna ogle my pictures and videos, 'k?
Preparing to toss Cesar's salad
First up was Cesar Abreu, working an ambitious James Bond number that included a gorgeous chick (whose name someone will probably send me) and Josh Buscher, who popped up later in the show. The great thing was that he had a gun in his pocket AND was happy to see us.
I wanna say I'm just a little stuck on Nick
Evita's Nick Kenkel had a leisurely routine centered around a studios type with a harness under his clothes and a penchant for whipping out Madonna fetish gear during a Janet Jackson number. One of the evening's best bodies on an evening when all of the bodies were simply the best.
As of midnight last night, it was exactly six years since my first post. It's been a tough thing to keep up with a dayjob and outside activities, and just when I think I might walk away, a valuable connection or interesting opportunity or a kind word comes my way. Thank you all for reading me.