Over 200 Performers Featured in 26th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition Dec. 8-9

News   Over 200 Performers Featured in 26th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition Dec. 8-9
The 26th annual edition of Gypsy of the Year is presented Dec. 8-9 at the New Amsterdam Theatre and celebrates the 40th anniversary of The Wiz. The fundraiser, which benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, also features performances by the "gypsies" of 12 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

Host Seth Rudetsky, seen here at the 2011 Gypsy of the Year
Host Seth Rudetsky, seen here at the 2011 Gypsy of the Year Photo by Monica Simoes

Gypsy of the Year is held Dec. 8 at 4:30 PM and Dec. 9 at 2 PM. Broadway personality, Sirius XM host and Playbill.com columnist Seth Rudetsky returns for the seventh consecutive year to host.

The show features special appearances by Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane (It's Only a Play), Lena Hall and Michael C. Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin), Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) and Judith Light (The Assembled Parties).

This year's show includes 200 Broadway and Off-Broadway performers. Among the shows scheduled to perform original numbers are Aladdin, Avenue Q, Chicago, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Motown: The Musical, Once, Pippin, Rock of Ages, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella and Wicked.

The opening number honors the 40th anniversary of The Wiz, winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The Wiz, directed by Geoffrey Holder, was one of the first large-scale, big-budget Broadway musicals to feature an all-black cast.

Gypsy of the Year features original cast members Dee Dee Bridgewater, André DeShields and Ken Page alongside Charl Brown (Motown: The Musical), Carly Hughes (Pippin), Keke Palmer (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella), Christina Sajous (Holler If Ya Hear Me), Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King) and Lillias White (Fela), who will also close the show with a special performance of "Home." The opening number was created by T. Oliver Reid, Brian Harlan Brooks and Ben Cohn. The Gypsy of the Year performances, according to press notes, "mark the culmination 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."

A panel of judges selects the best presentation award winners at the Dec. 9 performance. This year's judges are Julie Halston (You Can't Take It With You), Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed (Aladdin), Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Micah Stock (It's Only a Play), Jujamcyn Theaters Executive Vice President and BC/EFA Board of Trustees President Paul Libin and original Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS staffer Yvonne Ghareeb (who is retiring in January after 26 years with the organization). Also joining the panel are Lee Perlman and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by being high bidders on exclusive VIP packages at the 28th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.

The 25 editions thus far of Gypsy of the Year have raised more than $57.2 million. Last year, 51 participating shows raised $4,343,234.

A limited number of tickets at $50 and $30 remain available. They can be purchased online at BroadwayCares.org or by calling (212) 840-0770 ext. 268.

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