The 28th Annual Gypsy of the Year competition, which is produced and benefs Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, was presented on December 5 at 4:30 PM and today December 6 at 2 PM at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
This bi-annual event has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
This year’s show features more than 150 Broadway and Off-Broadway singers and dancers, including original numbers from Avenue Q, Chicago, The Color Purple, Fiddler on the Roof, Hamilton, The Lion King, On Your Feet!, Cirque du Soleil Paramour, School of Rock – The Musical, Waitress, and Wicked. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo also performed, representing Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of BC/EFA.
The opening number featured Baayork Lee, Donna McKechnie, and Margo Sappington, the trio who originated the “Turkey Lurkey Time” dance in 1968’s Promises, Promises. The number is directed and choreographed by Al Blackstone, based on Michael Bennett’s original choreography, with music direction by Ted Arthur.
Appearances by Falsettos stars Stephanie J. Block, Christian Borle, Andrew Rannells, Anthony Rosenthal, and Brandon Uranowitz; Robert Creighton (Cagney); Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple); Lora Lee Gayer and Megan Sikora (Holiday Inn); Nick Kroll and John Mulaney (Oh, Hello on Broadway); Jessie Mueller (Waitress); Javier Muñoz (Hamilton), and Jersey Boys, was honored for it’s hit 11 years on Broadway before it closes January 15. Original cast members Peter Gregus, and more than 60 of the show’s stars including Mark Ballas, Richard Blake, Charl Brown, Andy Karl, Drew Seeley, and Jarrod Spector were there to send Jersey Boys off in glory.
Judith Light, returned to lead a moment of silence for those we have lost.
The panel of judges at the December 6 performance were James Barbour (The Phantom of the Opera), Denée Benton and Lucas Steele (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Clifton Davis (Aladdin), Harvey Evans, Todrick Hall (Kinky Boots), Lisa Lampanelli (Stuffed), Lesli Margherita (Matilda The Musical), Mary Beth Peil (Anastasia), and Lee Perlman and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by bidding on VIP packages at the 30th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction.
Actor, musician, radio host, and Playbill.com columnist Seth Rudesky returned to host for the 9th year.
The 27 editions of Gypsy of the Year have raised more than $67.3 million. Last year, 54 participating shows raised $4,786,239.
So far this year billionaire Jim Irsay,owner of the Indianapolis Colts, dropped $20,000 in the red bucket at Hamilton December 3rd. He did so after Rory O‘Malley told the audience at curtain call that he was locked in a competition with Josh Groban at Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Groban responded by offering to match it with another $20,000 if O’Malley, who plays King George III in Hamilton, would agree to kneel before him. O’Malley accepted. Hamilton won the spring 2016 BC/EFA Easter Bonnet competition, raising $516,029 of the $5.5 million.