Gypsy of the Year Competition Will Feature Tribute to Fred Ebb; Presenters and Judges Announced
By Andrew Gans
The 24th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will be presented Dec. 3 at 4:30 PM and Dec. 4 at 2 PM at the New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 West 42nd Street.
The fundraiser will feature performances by more than 200 New York actors, singers, dancers and musicians and will include a tribute to celebrated late lyricist Fred Ebb.
Seth Rudetsky will host the event for the fifth consecutive year.
This year’s Gypsy of the Year tribute to Fred Ebb, who, in his will, left Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS his share of royalties earned on his collective works — a donation totaling $6.95 million so far — will feature David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk, reuniting with the cast of Curtains, one of the last Broadway shows created by Kander and Ebb. A host of alumni from Chicago also will join in the tribute.
Gypsy of the Year's opening number will celebrate the history of Broadway dance, spotlighting iconic choreography from West Side Story, Fosse, 42nd Street, The Will Rogers Follies, Crazy for You, Legally Blonde and A Chorus Line. The opening number, written by Stacia Fernandez, is directed and choreographed by Rommy Sandhu with musical arrangements by Ben Cohn, music direction by Matt Doebler and orchestrations by Matt Aument. Assistant choreographers are Julie Barnes, Allison Plamondon and Courtney Young.
Celebrity presenters scheduled to appear include Tony Award winners Katie Finneran and Steve Kazee.
Judges at the Dec. 4 performance will include John Bolton, Judith Ivey, composer John Kander, Judy Kaye, producer Hal Luftig, Laura Osnes, Adam Pascal and Michael Shannon. Also joining the panel are Hollis Stern and Peg Wendlandt, who both won judging spots by being high bidders on VIP packages at the 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September. The judges will be introduced by Peter and the Starcatcher stars Adam Chanler-Berat and Celia Keenan-Bolger.
The Broadway and Off-Broadway shows scheduled to perform at Gypsy of the Year include Bring It On: The Musical, Chicago, Evita, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, NEWSical The Musical, Newsies, Once, Rebecca and Rock of Ages. Complexions Contemporary Ballet also will perform for Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares.
Gypsy of the Year, according to press notes, 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.
Last year’s Gypsy of the Year raised $4,895,253, elevating the competition's 23-year total to $49,031,973.
A limited number of $40 and $20 tickets remain. 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 $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
Pics from the 2011 Gypsy of the Year:
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