PHOTO CALL: The 23rd Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition

News   PHOTO CALL: The 23rd Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition
Literally auctioning the shirt off his back at performances of Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway helped Tony-winning Australian native Hugh Jackman to raise a one-show record of $857,740 as part of the 23rd Annual Gypsy of the Year competition, pushing the total for the Dec. 5-6 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraising event to a new overall record of $4,895,253.

Jackman's share of the total was so large—more than twice the next largest total ($325,935 raised by How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)—that the judges took him out of the competition and gave him a Special Award for the effort.

A farewell performance from the cast of Billy Elliott earned the soon-to-close musical the title of 2011 Gypsy of the Year/Best Stage Presentation.


A highlight of this year's event at the New Amsterdam Theatre was the opening number, featuring a reunion of the original 1972 Broadway cast of the musical Grease. Thirteen original performers including Barry Bostwick, Carole Demas and Adrienne Barbeau (original Danny, Sandy and Rizzo, respectively) led a chorus of younger dancers in a medley of hits from the score.  

Jackman was on hand with Daniel Radcliffe (How To Succeed), Tony winner Bernadette Peters (Follies) and host Seth Rudetsky to hand out the awards. A total of 52 other Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring shows raised the rest of the money in six weeks of curtain-call appeals at theatres across New York and around the country.

First runner-up for Best Stage Presentation went to Mary Poppins, which riffed on the "Junior" versions of popular musicals offered by rights organizations for school performances. In Tom Souhrada's skit, titled "Junior Edition," the precocious child performers of Mary Poppins offered kid versions of some of Broadway's heaviest dramas, including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Other fundraising awards:

Top Broadway musical fundraisers: How to Succeed with $325,935, Book of Mormon with $315,968, Wicked with $240,809, Spider-Man with $197,285 and Follies with $186,405.

Top national tour fundraisers: Wicked (Munchkinland Tour) with $326,902, Wicked (Emerald City Tour) with $316,299, Mary Poppins with $169,709 and Jersey Boys with $157,831.

Top Broadway play fundraiser was Other Desert Cities with $77,712.

The top fundraiser among Off-Broadway shows was the AIDS-themed Rent, which took in $43,300.

This year's judges: Stephanie J. Block (Anything Goes); Jeff Calhoun (Bonnie & Clyde); Kim Cattrall (Private Lives); Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon); Tony Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert); Paul Libin (The Broadway League); Stephanie Toups; and Karen Walter.

Celebrity presenters included Jan Maxwell and Danny Burstein (Follies), Patrick Page (Spider-Man), Beth Leavel (Baby It's You!) and Judith Light (Other Desert Cities).

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