GYPSY OF THE YEAR Raises Over 4.3 Million for BC/EFA; KINKY BOOTS Leads in Fundraising
The 25th anniversary celebration of GYPSY OF THE YEAR, the culmination of six weeks of extraordinary fundraising by 56 participating Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring companies, raised an amazing $4,343,234 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The grand total was announced Tuesday, December 10, at this year's GYPSY OF THE YEAR, which included an array of original dances, songs, and skits performed by more than 250 "gypsies," the most talented singers and dancers in the ensembles of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.
Since 1989, the 25 editions of GYPSY OF THE YEAR have raised a total of $57,277,815 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The impressive total was announced by surprise guest Daniel Craig, currently starring in Betrayal, who joined Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, who are performing No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot in repertoire, and Cherry Jones from the revival of The Glass Menagerie.
A standing-room-only audience at the Minskoff Theatre, home to Disney's The Lion King, erupted with thunderous applause as the actors also presented awards to the top fundraising companies and for the best performances in this year's show.
This year's top fundraiser was Kinky Boots, which raised $377,301. Here's how this year's fundraising competition ended:
Top Fundraiser Kinky Boots $377,301
1st Runner-Up Wicked $273,940
2nd Runner-Up The Book of Mormon $209,943
3rd Runner-Up (tie) Newsies $125,469
The Phantom of the Opera $125,373
Top Fundraiser The Glass Menagerie $161,218
1st Runner-Up Twelfth Night/Richard III $116,653
Off-Broadway (Play or Musical)
Top Fundraiser Avenue Q $ 27,066
1st Runner-Up Peter and the Starcatcher $ 23,360
Top Fundraiser Wicked - Munchkinland $333,086
1st Runner-Up The Book of Mormon - Latter Day $314,133
2nd Runner-Up The Book of Mormon - Jumamosi $296,279
3rd Runner-Up Wicked - Emerald City $182,926
The company of The Lion King took honors for the best onstage presentation for a captivating dance of couples who skillfully integrated ropes to spin, twirl and jump to original music by cast member Bongi Dumas and directed by Ray Mercer. The cast of Newsies was runner-up as 16 exuberant young men from the show took to the air with explosive leaps in a contemporary dance piece choreographed by five members of the cast - Julian DeGuzman, David Guzman, Jacob Guzman, Evan Kasprzak, and Jess LeProtto.
The 2013 edition of GYPSY OF THE YEAR, which was presented in two shows December 9 and 10, is an opportunity for the entire theatre community to gather for the competitive variety show and celebrate their fundraising efforts.
In 1989, the first GYPSY OF THE YEAR was hosted by Tyne Daly and Jonathan Hadary, who welcomed the show onto their stage at the St. James Theatre just days after they opened the hit revival of Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim's classic Gypsy. This year, Daly and Hadary returned as special guests hosts.
Daly and Hadary were welcomed by noted Broadway personality Seth Rudetsky ("Seth's Big Fat Broadway" on Sirius/XM Radio), who hosted his sixth consecutive GYPSY OF THE YEAR.
The show's energetic opening number featured Klea Blackhurst as Ethel Merman comparing gypsies of her day with 18 high-kicking, modern-daygypsies representing the cast of Newsies. The number was directed and choreographed by Devanand Janki and Robert Tatad with lyrics and script by Rudetsky. Arrangements and music direction by Ben Cohn.
The 25th Annual GYPSY OF THE YEAR celebrated three memorable numbers from past incarnations of the ceremony. An intimate and physically demanding dance originally presented in 1995 by Pascale Faye and Arte Phillips of Victor/Victoria was beautifully recreated by Kristine Bendul andWaldemar Quinones-Villanueva. From that same year, Kristi Lynes and William Ryall from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"borrowed" the Victor/Victoria number's choreography for their own comical, uncoordinated twist. Ryall returned this year to recreate the number to perfection with Broadway favorite Jen Cody. And from the Beauty and the Beast cast, John Salvatore performed an encore of his 2002 solo, a conversation between two dancers that was cleverly written to integrate dance moves into the script.