“Gypsy of the Year” Benefit Returns in December

Fun Ensemble Competition for “Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS”

gypsy of the yearFor two consecutive afternoons – Monday, December 5th at 4:30pm, and Tuesday, December 6th at 2:00pm – the Broadway ensembles perform in a competition to raise money for Broadway Care / Equity Fights AIDS.  The “Gypsy of the Year” event is now in its 27th year, having launched in 1989.  The word “gypsy” is the term the event has historically used to refer to the singers and dancers in musical ensembles.  Interestingly, this year one of the show’s is not a musical, but a play: The Humans.  The other shows participating are The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, The Color Purple, School of Rock – the Musical, The Phantom of the Opera, Matilda the Musical, Oh, Hello on Broadway, Paramour, and Off-Broadway’s Stuffed.  These shows will face off in a benefit with tickets purchased by those in and around the Broadway community.  There will be special guests among the more than 200 gypsies performing in the event.  The original skits, songs, and dances are eligible for awards presented to the best performance, as well as to those shows that earned the most money in the BC / EFA campaign.

Fundraising Efforts to Encompass Even More Showsequity fights aids

In addition to those shows taking part in the gypsy competition, fundraising efforts have just begun at shows such as Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Holiday Inn, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Jersey Boys, Fiddler on the Roof, Aladdin, and Waitress, as well as the Off-Broadway show Othello: the Remix.  The six-week campaign will add in more shows throughout the period.  These fundraising efforts are well known to Broadway audiences, as they are the only recurring instance in which a cast member, after the curtain call, will politely quiet the applause to make an announcement, which is both somber and often humorous, as called for by the particular show that has just been seen.  Then, cast members, often ensemble members but also commonly lead actors, will stand outside the theatre and in the foyer holding red buckets to collect donations for the agency.  This fundraising event is both historic, as it shows how profoundly the AIDS crisis impacted the Broadway community in particular, but it is also an ongoing practice that brings the Broadway community together over giving back and being benefactors to those in need.

New Amsterdam Theatre to House Gypsy Event

The event will take place on two consecutive afternoons in the first week of December at the New Amsterdam Theatre, where Aladdin is currently playing.  The host will be Seth Rudetsky, who was behind last season’s Disaster! musical, as well as the long-time host of SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s “On Broadway.”  The fundraising at the event and throughout the six-week period will benefit vulnerable individuals by providing them with healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, and counseling.  In addition to cash collections and the Gypsy event, the fundraising campaign also offers memorabilia to audience members in exchange for donations.  In the 27 years of the Gypsy of the Year event, the initiative has raised over $67.2 million for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS.  In addition to collections at the Broadway shows, national tours, 54 Broadway, and Off-Broadway shows brought in a collective $4.8 million last year in this period.  For the Gypsy of the Year event, tickets can be purchased at broadwaycares.org.

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Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jennifer studied Law and moved to New York City at age 24, where she still practices law and writes for abovethelaw.com. Jennifer's profession may be in the land-of-legal, but her passion is for Broadway where she can write about subjects as diverse as Broadway union contracts to show reviews. With a focus on entertainment law, Ms Chen still keeps her hand in with the latest industry legal developments that can keep playwrights, directors and licensing organizations up at night.
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