Father's Day was a bacchanalia at the Hammerstein Ballroom when theatre’s hottest dancers took to the stage for Broadway Bares: Take Off.
This year, the 29th edition of show raised $2,006,192, breaking the previous record of $1.91 million. The cast and crew's online fundraiser, Stripathon, raised $1,066,129, marking the first time it passed the $1 million mark, and the fourth year in a row it was the single largest contributor to the event’s grand total.
Directed by Laya Barak, this year saw couples Christopher Sieber and Stephen DeRosa, and Jay Armstrong Johnson and Christian Dante White on an international adventure with pilot Ashley Parks and flight attendant Nathan Lee Graham.
Numbers from their around the world trip included A Day of the Dead celebration, featuring Ian Paget, Khadija Tariyan, and Judah Frank; choreographed by Barak; a ground-crew number led by Adam Perry and choreographed by Andrew Turteltaub; Nina Lafarga and Henry Byalikov bullfighting with choreography by Luis Salgado; Carleigh Bettiol and Jennifer Florentino leading an all-female number set in Amsterdam and choreographed by Olivia Cipolla.
Aerialists from Las Vegas’ Living Art of Armando, choreographed by Armando Farfan Jr., took to the air, followed by Steven Trumon Gray convincing a flight to join the Mile High Club, choreographed by Ray Mercer; Marija Abney, Afra Hines and Briana Reed stripping down at Carnival, choreographed by associate director Jonathan Lee and backed up by muscular men; a Justin Prescott-–staged vogue off ended with Billy Porter announcing the victor; Constantine Rousouli conquered his fear of flying when Graham and flight crew members Holly Ann Butler (Come From Away) and Elliott Mattox (Beetlejuice), turned the plane into a disco party with Al Blackstone choreography; Sabrina Imamura overpowerd samurais with a cast wielding traditional Japanese fans in a number from Kellin Stancil; Taurean Everett stripped down at Burning Man with choreography by Michael Lee Scott and Farfan’s aerialists; the legacy of Stonewall was celebrated with recording artist and LGBTQ activist Mila Jam and Gabriel Hyman leading peaceful and empowered protests with choreography by John Alix.
And the finale ushered in World Pride in NYC, choreographed by Sidney Erik Wright, and featuring Alex Newell and Ryann Redmond singing David Guetta’s “When Love Takes Over” with adapted lyrics.
Dancers on stage came from Aladdin, Be More Chill, Beetlejuice, Come From Away, Frozen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, Hadestown, Hamilton, King Kong, My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, The Cher Show, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, The Prom, and Wicked.
This year’s top Stripathon fundraiser was Mark MacKillop was 2019's top Stripathon fundraiser, bringing in $51,755, the most ever by a Bares performer. He was followed by male runners up L. Steven Taylor (The Lion King) at $43,529, Josh Cotham at $28,001 and Steve Bratton at $19,397. The female runners up were Holly Ann Butler at $16,505, Katie Thrasher at $13,020 and Marissa Rosen at $12,404.