Stars of IT'S ONLY A PLAY, HEDWIG and More Set for BC/EFA's 2014 GYPSY OF THE YEAR, Honoring THE WIZ's 40th Anniversary
The 26th annual edition of Gypsy of the Year, to be presented Monday, December 8 (4:30 PM) and Tuesday, December 9 (2 PM) at the New Amsterdam Theatre (214 West 42nd Street, NYC), will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking musical The Wiz and feature performances by the uber-talented "gypsies" of 12 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.
The show also will feature 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 will include 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 will honor 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. Returning to the yellow brick road for this special event are Dee Dee Bridgewater, André DeShields and Ken Page. They'll be joined by 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 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.
Broadway personality and longtime Broadway Cares friend Seth Rudetsky ("Seth's Big Fat Broadway" on Sirius/XM Radio) returns for the seventh year in a row to host.
An esteemed panel of judges will select the best presentation award winners at Tuesday's 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.
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 $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.
For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at broadwaycares.org, on Facebook at facebook.com/BCEFA, on Twitter at twitter.com/BCEFA, on YouTube at youtube.com/BCEFAtv and on Instagram at instagram.com/BCEFA.