Broadway Bares-San Francisco Strips VI: taking it all off for charity

  • by David-Elijah Nahmod
  • Tuesday June 13, 2023
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Performers in 'Tech Tales,' the first Broadway Bares/San Francisco Strips, in 2018
Performers in 'Tech Tales,' the first Broadway Bares/San Francisco Strips, in 2018

On June 17, the sixth local incarnation of "Broadway Bares" strips its way into the DNA Lounge. "Broadway Bares/San Francisco Strips VI: ChampionStrips" will raise critical funds for the Richmond Ermet Aid Foundation while also promising a rollicking good time not only for the audience, but for the performers.

Proceeds from "Broadway Bares/SF Strips VI will benefit Project Open Hand, which, since the 1980s, has provided free meals for people with AIDS, for people who are critically ill with other diseases, and for seniors. Proceeds will also benefit Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS, a New York based organization that supports charities such as the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative and HIV/AIDS Initiative.

REAF was founded in 1995 in honor of two women who had lost their only sons to AIDS. The organization stages a variety of performing arts events throughout the year that raise critical funds for a myriad of non-profits and local charities.

Performers in Broadway Bares/San Francisco Strips IV, Fairy Tales in 2022  

"Fewer causes are more aligned with our community than these," said Deb Leamy, this year's director of "Broadway Bares," in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter. "Each performer in the show has either been personally affected by or has a close friend or relative who's been affected by HIV and AIDS. We also have a senior in our lives and someone who's been recently struck with severe illness. It gives all of us a sense of purpose knowing that the money raised is actually going to help someone, or to make their day or week or month a little bit easier than the month previous."

Along with buying tickets to the show, donors can also donate to specific performers' fundraising efforts on the event donation website,

One "Broadway Bares" performer who's had a relative affected by HIV is singer Iris Vazquez, who will be performing the show's opening number.

Singer Iris Vazquez  

"Being asked to be a part of this show is a huge honor," Vazquez said. "I have very fond memories as a child of my youngest uncle, Placido, who lived in San Francisco in the late '70s and early '80s. While in San Francisco, he learned how to love and embrace himself, paving the way for many like him to come. Sadly, my uncle left this earth young due to HIV. This show is an opportunity for me to perform in his honor and give back that same love he instilled in me."

Leamy told us that the theme of the show will be sports and championship events such as the Super Bowl, the World Series, World Chess, and NBA Championships.

"Pure fun," she said. "Nothing unites people more in this country than watching a match or a game.

Leamy promises that the show will feature pom-poms, fabulous dance moves, beautiful people, and lots of balls! There may even be a little skin, so those under 21 years of age will have to stay at home.

Some of the skin may be coming from performer Nick Cearley of the scantily-clad musical duo The Skivvies. Cearley tells the B.A.R. that he's part of the show's plot.

Nick Cearley of The Skivvies  

"My character and my onstage sister get lost in the world of sports....ness," Cearley said. "And then of course chaos, hilarity and debauchery ensues."

Cearley is a long time fan of "Broadway Bares," a show he describes as campy, musical, tongue in cheek, and with amazing dancing. It's everything he loves about life.

"The first time I saw a 'Broadway Bares,' it followed an innocent couple through their sexual awakening journey," he recalled. "And by the end they had their worlds rocked and they joined in on the naughtiness, like 'Rocky Horror.' Anything that involves that kind of theatricality is my bat-signal."

Leamy wanted to be a part of this show because she felt like it didn't exist before. Being part of helping to mold each year's show and seeing it grow in production values has been quite rewarding for her.

"A true passion project creatively and artistically that actually also does some good," she said. "What's more satisfying than that?"

"Every contribution to REAF, no matter the amount, helps to provide essential support to many disenfranchised communities here in San Francisco," added Vazquez. "Our collective support can truly make an impact in helping our communities live a life of wellness. Please support us and help us to provide healthy living for all."

'Broadway Bares/San Francisco Strips VI: ChampionStrips,' June 17, 6pm and 9pm, DNA Lounge, 375 11th St. $49-$100.

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