SiriusXM host, actor, musician, and Playbill correspondent Seth Rudetsky hosts the newly renamed Red Bucket Follies, produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, December 3 at 4:30 PM and December 4 at 2 PM at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
Jason Trubitt directs the annual fundraiser with music direction by Ted Arthur. The production stage manager is Matthew Kurtis Lutz.
The opening number—conceived by Lainie Sakakura and Telly Leung and directed and choreographed by Alex Sanchez—honors the legacy of Asian-Americans on Broadway, paying tribute to Flower Drum Song. Featuring members of the original 1958 cast as well as Asian performers currently on Broadway, the piece celebrates Broadway’s diversity and the diversity within the Asian-American experience.
The show also includes a number directed and choreographed by Karla Puno Garcia honoring the national tours that participated in the fall fundraising, plus a tribute to Broadway Cares’ iconic red buckets directed and choreographed by Chaz Wolcott.
Attendees can expect appearances by Mike Birbiglia (The New One); Norbert Leo Butz and Harry Hadden-Paton (My Fair Lady); Kevin Chamberlin (Wicked); Noma Dumezweni, Poppy Miller, and Paul Thornley (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child); Erika Henningsen, Ashley Park, Kate Rockwell, Kyle Selig, and Jennifer Simard (Mean Girls); Cherry Jones (The Lifespan of a Fact); and Michael Urie (Torch Song).
This year’s songs, skits, and dances feature more than 150 singers and dancers. Broadway shows scheduled to perform include Chicago, Frozen, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, and Wicked, as well as Off-Broadway’s Avenue Q, Fiddler on the Roof (in Yiddish), and NEWSical The Musical. Representing Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, choreographer Billy Griffin will share an original piece created for this year’s Hudson Valley Dance Festival.
This year's judges are music supervisor Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Mean Girls, The Prom), Ali Ewoldt and Jay Armstrong Johnson (The Phantom of the Opera), Rosemary Harris (My Fair Lady), Andy Karl and Orfeh (Pretty Woman), Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla (The Prom), Peppermint (Head Over Heels), and Nicolette Robinson (Waitress). Also joining the panel are Nathan Noh and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by bidding on packages at the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction.
Red Bucket Follies builds on the 29-year legacy of the Gypsy of the Year Competition. The show continues to showcase ensemble members and special guests sharing original performances, with awards given to the best presentation and for the top fundraising Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring shows for the six weeks’ efforts. Since 1989, the 29 editions of Gypsy of the Year raised $76 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
A limited number of tickets, starting at at $30, are available at BroadwayCares.org.
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 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.