From: J. Sweetzer
To: Jerry Mitchell
Dear Mr. Mitchell,
Twenty-three years ago, when you first described your idea for an AIDS fundraiser, I was skeptical. You were choreographing my local church group’s production of Anything Goes and yours truly was playing Billy. “A bunch of nearly chiseled, well-trained dancers traipsing around the stage in elaborately ornamented states of undress,” I thought, “who in God’s name would want to watch that!?”
Others at St. Anastasia’s agreed. That kind of smut might do for the Presbyterian Community Center, but for a hallowed institution like the Broadway? No sir.
When the first year came, I thought surely this would be a flash in the pan. At the time, of course, I had been floating around my own idea for a fundraiser called Broadway BORES,an event featuring fully-clothed, unattractive singers performing off-pitch renditions of ballads from obscure Broadway flops. “This is what an AIDS event deserves,” I assured myself. “Not cheap thrills, but Pathos! Remembrance of things past!”
I prayed, and prayed, and, well truth be told, seasons changed, years passed, and hard hearts have softened.
I subscribe to a slightly different religion now. That’s right – I have finally come to understand just what Fr. Larry meant when he called Broadway his “other” church. He and I have been fans of Broadway Bares for a while now. He goes more often than I, but when I can’t make it there is always the lovely aftermath of photos that flood my facebook wall.
And I mean – flood. As in wet.
So, after all this time, my hat is off to you, Mr. Mitchell. It seems your idea born whilst teaching altar boys with two-left feet the charleston has indeed paid off.
And in regards to my facebook feed, I can’t wait to see next year’s load.
PS. The J. is for Jackie not Jack.