This past Sunday, I attended my first Broadway Bares. For those of you who don't know, Broadway Bares is an annual 'Broadway meets Burlesque' event, raising money for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. This year marked it's 20th anniversary. How I have never attended is a little beyond me as it is one of the gayest events of the year. And as we know... I'm like super, super gay.
Broadway Bares is held at the Roseland Ballroom. I have only been to Roseland for one other event - the infamous Black Party. Being in the space I couldn't help but compare the two events. Broadway Bares and The Black Party are oddly like twin cousins. The Black Party being the crazy Patty Lane who loses control at the sight of a hot dog and Broadway Bares would be the elegant, more refined Cathy Lane.
I am now going to break down their similarities:
- Both are held at the Roseland Ballroom drawing in over 4,000 people.
- Both bring together the gay community for an evening of sexual fun and bawdiness.
- Both in a way force their audience to embrace sexual energy that feels defiant and gives the finger to HIV / AIDS.
- Both involve a lot of scantily clad / naked men gyrating about Roseland Ballroom.
- Both have the same weird sort of retarded old drug dealer, wandering around mumbling "Coke, K, Ecstasy".
And now... for the differences
- Broadway Bares simulates water sports ; The Black Party's water sports seem a bit more... authentic
- Broadway Bares showcases a lot of glittered flesh; The Black Party showcases a lot of leathered flesh.
- Broadway Bares is a spectator sport; The Black Party requires a lot more participation
- Broadway Bares involved a lot of wax and spray tan. The Black Party involves a lot of body hair and "natural man smell".
- Broadway Bares costs about $55; The Black Party is a cool (and rough) $125.
- Broadway Bares this year, raised over $1,000,000 for HIV / AIDS services in the community - as I watched the show I could feel my T- Cells rising; The Black Party, a commercial venture, made scads of money for itself with I'm sure an "appropriate" amount going to some chosen tax shelter.
How amazing would it be if the two events could meet somewhere in the middle? What if an evening existed that was a bit dirtier and a bit crazier than what Broadway Bares currently offers, yet more socially and sexually responsible than the Black Party? What if we could gyrate in leather while raising millions of dollars for social causes? What if we were rolling our faces off on Ecstasy while dancing along to a sexy strip tease number featuring Kristin Chenoweth and Vanessa Williams followed by a hot threesome in the play pen?
Could you imagine? Nobody would leave the Roseland Ballroom for at least a week.