Spamalot, Lion King Earn Top Honors at "Gypsy of the Year"

News   Spamalot, Lion King Earn Top Honors at "Gypsy of the Year" Monty Python's Spamalot claimed top fundraising honors in the 17th Annual "Gypsy of the Year" competition Dec. 5-6, raking in $367,084 toward a $2,972,721.15 total for the event, which benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

For the second year in a row, the sculpted dancers of The Lion King impressed the judges, winning the award for best presentation. Collected by more than 50 Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring shows over the past six weeks in nightly curtain-call appeals, the total is the second-highest ever, behind 2003's $3,359,000, but ahead of 2004's $2,754,631 total.

The 2005 "Gypsy of the Year" competition gave two performance, Dec, 5 and 6 at the Neil Simon Theatre, hosted by Brad Garrett and Lee Wilkof of The Odd Couple. As has become custom, the event featured a mixture of satirical skits, inspirational songs, and virtuoso dance numbers, all performed by the "gypsies," the Broadway dancers who go from show to show and form the and provide singing and dancing support to the leads. This year's event featured several stars as well, including Cathy Rigby, Rosie O'Donnell, Patti LuPone, Michael Cerveris, Huey Lewis and Harvey Fierstein.

Favorite satirical targets included the Tourette's Syndrome musical In My Life and the spare revival of Sweeney Todd, in which the performers also double as the orchestra.

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