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''Looking to Myth Behave?''
by Randy Gener
The Roman God of love Cupid.
Imagine Bacchus with a bunch of juicy grapes lowly hanging in front of the navel. Or a horned Neptune with two percent body fat. Or a leggy dancer dressed up as a fiery Medusa sporting shiny tassles. The naked gods of Broadway are poised to descend Mount Olympus for this year's Greek-themed edition of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' annual event Broadway Bares. Staged for the second year in a row by choreographer Denis Jones, the popular benefit-strip event, in which dancers strip for two performances June 17, assumes a new kitschy theme, ''Broadway Bares XVII-Myth Behavior.''
According to Michael Graziano, who co-produces Broadway Bares with Anthony LaTorella, it has been traditional for each year's director to pick the theme. Typically each theme ''puts a contemporary burlesque spin on identifiable iconography.'' Past themes have included a sci-fi ''2001 Strip Odyssey'', calendar girls (''every number was a different month,'' Graziano explains), comic-strip based characters (in which the highlight was Spamalot's Christopher Sieber and his partner as nude Batman and Robin), ''Now Showing'' (based on movies), and ''The Barest Show on Earth.'' ''Believe it or not, we haven't hit the rock stars of mythology until this year,'' Graziano says.
Still, this nude parade of male and female dancers, created by Tony-winning choreographer Jerry Mitchell, isn't just for Narcissus
types. Since the show's sweaty beginnings when nine guys from /Will Rogers's Follies/ danced and splayed on a bar in Splash in Chelsea,
the nonprofit BC/EFA has raised more than $3 million over the eyars, estimates Graziano. Last year's $659,500 till was bolstered by an
on-stage rotation of go-go dancers and pledges from an online stripathon. ''This benefit involves all aspects of the creative departments, with literally hundreds of people donating their time or volunteering,'' Graziano adds. ''Everybody gets to come and play. There's a great community feeling.''
''Broadway Bares XVII – Myth Behavior'' takes the stage at Roseland Ballroom ( 239 West 52nd Street) for two performances on Sunday June
17, 2007 at 9:30 PM and Midnight. Tickets range from $55 for General Admission to $650 for Benefactor seating. A limited number of VIP
Exclusive Backstage packages that include an all night ''pre and post show'' experience of legendary yearly event are also available. For tickets and information on this and other BC/EFA fundraising events, visit www.broadwaycares.org or www.broadwaycares.org
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