The 25th anniversary edition of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ Gypsy of the Year Competition will be presented Monday, December 9 (4:30 PM) and Tuesday, December 10 (2 PM) at the Minskoff Theatre (1515 Broadway). The show will feature performances by New York’s best actors, singers, dancers, and musicians with several guest appearances, including Tyne Daly, Cherry Jones, Ian McKellen, Mark Rylance, and Patrick Stewart.
Gypsy of the Year is the culmination celebration of six weeks of intensive fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies. The show features a sensational display of the most talented singers and dancers in the ensemble of shows, known as “gypsies.” Awards are presented to the top fundraisers and for the best presentation during the two performances.
The awards will be announced at the end of Tuesday’s show by Jones, McKellen, and Stewart. Jones currently is starring in the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie; McKellen and Stewart are performing No Man’s Land and Waiting for Godot in repertoire.
Noted Broadway personality and longtime Broadway Cares friend Seth Rudetsky (“Seth’s Big Fat Broadway” on Sirius/XM Radio), will return for the sixth year in a row to host. He’ll be joined by special guest hosts 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 Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim’s classic Gypsy.
That first edition of Gypsy of the Year raised $70,000 and featured a cast of 19. This year’s show will include 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, will be represented by an original piece choreographed by Jeremy McQueen for this year’s Fire Island Dance Festival.
In addition, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the show, there will be encore performances of memorable numbers originally presented at Gypsy of the Year in 1995 by Victor/Victoria and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and in 2002 by Beauty and the Beast.
Gypsy of the Year‘s opening number will be directed and choreographed by Devanand Janki and Robert Tatad; Rudetsky is writing the lyrics and script; and Ben Cohn handles arrangements and music direction.
Jones also will be joined by her cast mates 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 (Betrayal), Rick Holmes (Peter and the Starcatcher), and Lindsay Mendez (Wicked).
An esteemed panel of judges will select the best presentation award winners at Tuesday’s performance. This year’s judges are director/choreographer Graciela Daniele, Mary Bridget Davies (A Night with Janis Joplin), Brandon Victor Dixon (Motown The Musical), Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez (First Date), Rebecca Luker (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Hugh Panaro (The Phantom of the Opera) and Roger Rees (The Winslow Boy). 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 Rylance and two of his current co-stars, Samuel Barnett and Stephen Fry. The three are performing in a just-extended run of two Shakespeare plays in repertoire, Twelfth Night and Richard III.
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.
Gypsy of the Year is sponsored by The New York Times and United Airlines.
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.
Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.
For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at broadwaycares.org, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/BCEFA, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/BCEFA, watch us on YouTube at youtube.com/BCEFA and pin us on Pinterest at pinterest.com/BCEFA.