25th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition, Benefiting BC/EFA, Presented Dec. 9-10
By Andrew Gans
The 25th anniversary edition of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' Gypsy of the Year Competition is presented Dec. 9 at 4:30 PM and Dec. 10 at 2 PM at the Minskoff Theatre, currently the home of the Tony-winning The Lion King.
Gypsy of the Year is the culmination of six weeks of intensive fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies. The show features a display of singers and dancers from the ensembles of numerous shows, known as "gypsies." Awards are presented to the top fundraisers and for the best presentation during the two performances.
Musician, actor and Playbill.com columnist Seth Rudetsky returns for the sixth consecutive year as host. He is joined by special guest hosts Tyne Daly and Jonathan Hadary, who welcomed the first Gypsy of the Year onto their stage in 1989 at the St. James Theatre. (Just days earlier, Daly and Hadary had opened the hit revival of Gypsy.)
Gypsy of the Year's opening number is directed and choreographed by Devanand Janki and Robert Tatad; Rudetsky penned the lyrics and script; Ben Cohn handled arrangements and music direction.
This year's show includes more than 250 Broadway and Off-Broadway performers. Among the shows scheduled to perform original numbers are After Midnight, Avenue Q, Chicago, Disaster!, First Date, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Newsies, Once, Pippin, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and Twelfth Night/Richard III. Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, is represented by an original piece choreographed by Jeremy McQueen for this year's Fire Island Dance Festival.
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the show, encore performances of memorable numbers presented at previous Gypsy of the Year competitions will be seen, including those from Victor/Victoria and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1995) and by Beauty and the Beast (2002).
The awards will be announced at the end of the Dec. 10 performance by Cherry Jones, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. Jones will also be joined by her castmates from this season's critically acclaimed The Glass Menagerie revival – Celia Keenan-Bolger, Zachary Quinto and Brian J. Smith. Other celebrity presenters scheduled to appear include Stephen DeRosa, Rick Holmes and Lindsay Mendez.
This year's judges are director/choreographer Graciela Daniele, Mary Bridget Davies, Brandon Victor Dixon, Zachary Levi, Krysta Rodriguez, Rebecca Luker, Hugh Panaro and Roger Rees. Also joining the panel are Eric Forst and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by being high bidders on exclusive VIP packages at the 27th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.
The judges will be introduced by Mark Rylance and two of his current Broadway co-stars, Samuel Barnett and Stephen Fry.
Last year’s Gypsy of the Year raised $3,902,608, lifting the competition's 24-year total to more than $52.9 million.
Tickets, starting as low as $20, remain available. They can be purchased online at broadwaycares.org or by calling (212) 840-0770, ext. 268.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
PHOTO RECAP: The 24th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition
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