Exclusive: Original Promises Trio to Recreate “Turkey Lurkey Time” for Gypsy of the Year

News   Exclusive: Original Promises Trio to Recreate “Turkey Lurkey Time” for Gypsy of the Year
The legendarily athletic number “promises” to be a highlight of the fundraising event.
Baayork Lee, Donna McKechnie, and Margo Sappington
Baayork Lee, Donna McKechnie, and Margo Sappington in Promises, Promises

Original Promises, Promises cast members Baayork Lee, Margo Sappinton, and Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie will recreate Michael Bennett’s “Turkey Lurkey Time” as the opening number of the upcoming Gypsy of the Year competition December 5 and 6.

The legendarily athletic dance number involves twists, leaps, kicks, and head-snaps that have made it something of a legend among Broadway dancers.

McKechnie and Lee performed the number on the 1969 Tony Awards broadcast, six years before they appeared together in the original cast of A Chorus Line. Here is a clip of that performance. The dance shifts into high gear at the 1:52 mark.

The number is to be directed and choreographed by Al Blackstone, using original choreography by Michael Bennett. Also taking part will be dancers Ward Billeisen, Ashley Blanchet, Karli Dinardo, Khori Petinaud, and David Rossetti. It will be presented as part of a skit by Chris Dimond. Arrangements by Bryan Perri, music direction by Ted Arthur.

The 28th annual Gypsy of the Year competition, produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will be presented December 5 at 4:30 PM and December 6 at 2 PM at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre (214 West 42nd Street).

Actor, musician, radio host, and Playbill.com columnist Seth Rudetsky will return to host the shows at the New Amsterdam, home to Disney’s smash hit Aladdin.

The event caps six weeks of fundraising that began October 21. Last year, 54 Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national tours raised $4.8 million.

Watch Seth Rudetsky deconstruct “Turkey Lurkey Time”:

Gypsy of the Year celebrates the talented singers and dancers in the ensembles of shows, historically known as “gypsies.” More than 200 gypsies and special guests will perform original skits, songs, and dances at the December performances, with awards presented to the best presentation and for the top fundraisers.

Since 1989, the 27 editions of Gypsy of the Year have raised more than $67.2 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Tickets to Gypsy of the Year can now be purchased online at broadwaycares.org or by calling (212) 840-0770, ext. 229. VIP and Priority tickets are $375 and $250, respectively, and other tickets are available at $130, $50, and $30.

Here is a look back at some classic moments from previous Gypsy of the Year opening numbers:

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 $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Check out photos from last year's event below:

(Updated December 2, 2016)


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