All across America, theatre companies and Broadway national tours raise funds on behalf of Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS in the weeks leading up to the holiday season to raise funds to combat AIDS/HIV and help those living with the disease. The annual appeal began Oct. 15 this year.
Helping that process along is the beloved "Gypsy Of The Year" competition, a variety show featuring chorus singers and dancers (sometimes helped by their stars) from Broadway shows finally given the opportunity to step out and take the spotlight.
This year's competition happens Dec. 1 and 2 at the Virginia Theatre on West 52nd St. in New York.
Performers from each show perform humorous or moving songs and dances. Highlights of each year's show are the parodies the shows do of each other and of themselves. Awards are given for the best skit, and for the show that raises the most money for BC/EFA.
Tickets for VIPs ($150) and Benefactors ($250) are now on sale. General admission tickets ($35) go on sale Nov. 24. To order, call (212) 840-0770 and ask for Carla after those dates. Click here for an account of the 1996 "Gypsy of the Year" event.
Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS was founded Oct. 1987 and has raised millions in the fight against HIV and AIDS and raised tens of millions "through the mobilization of the theatrical expertise of the entertainment industry."
How does such a grass-roots organization fight an international plague? By distributing funds in three ways: to individuals, to AIDS service organizations and to events that raise money for the cause. Each year, thousands of entertainment industry individuals living with AIDS receive money through the Actors' Fund Of America's AIDS Initiative. Projects funded to help PWA (People With AIDS) include those offering food, shelter, transportation and non-reimbursed emergency medical expense coverage. Other annual events include the Easter Bonnet Competition and Broadway Bares.