On March 18, Broadway Backwards is back. Now in its eighth year, the popular concert fundraiser is scheduled to be presented at Broadway’s Palace Theatre, currently home to the revival of the musical Annie. The gimmick of Broadway Backwards is that it allows female singers to take on songs traditionally sung by men while male performers get to sing songs usually sung by women.
The performers planning to participate in Broadway Backwards haven’t been announced yet, but the event always draws a number of Broadway pros eager to belt out songs that they never get to sing in shows because of their gender. The event will be directed and choreographed by Robert Bartley, who created Broadway Backwards. Amy Jones will serve as co-choreographer.
Tickets for Broadway Backwards start at $75. Order now by calling 212-840-0770 ext. 268 or by going to www.broadwaycares.org. If you buy VIP tickets, you will get premium seats and admission to the post-show cast party. “Backstage and Beyond” ticket packages offer the chance to see the dress rehearsal of the event, along with backstage access, a meet and greet with the stars, and premium seats for the performance.
Proceeds from Broadway Backwards will go to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York City.
The 24th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition took place on December 4 at the New Amsterdam Theatre, and during the event it was announced that $3,902,608 was raised for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Each autumn, Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, as well as national Broadway tours, participate in six weeks of fundraising for the charity, which culminates in the Gypsy of the Year Competition, an event that gives the companies of many shows the opportunity to perform songs, dance pieces, and original comedy sketches.
Ricky Martin, Katie Holmes, and Chita Rivera were on hand to announce the top fundraisers. The show that raised the most money for BC/EFA was the national touring company of The Book of Mormon, which brought in $478,130. The top fundraiser on Broadway was the Tony Award-winning musical Once ($232,770), while Avenue Q ($24,940) raised the most among Off-Broadway shows.
The Lion King company was recognized as having the best onstage presentation at the event for a piece that was choreographed by Ray Mercer. Bring It On: The Musical was the runner-up for its high-flying hip-hop number.
Broadway’s favorite charity, Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, has announced that it is donating $250,000 for Hurricane Sandy recovery, and it is doing so on behalf of the theatre community. The money will come from BC/EFA’s annual fall fundraising efforts, in which Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring shows ask for donations on behalf of the esteemed organization. Broadway Cares is gifting these Sandy funds to three relief agencies that are working to immediately assist Hurricane Sandy victims: American Red Cross, AmeriCares, and Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS is also donating $100,000 to The Actors Fund, an organization that provides needy members of the arts community with disaster-related assistance such as emergency financial resources, temporary housing, and medical care.
Commenting on the Hurricane Sandy donations, Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola said, “Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS historically has moved quickly and responsibly, on behalf of the theatre community, in responding to assist those affected by extraordinary events and natural disasters. We want to immediately do the same by reaching out to those both in the theatre family and local communities most affected by Hurricane Sandy.”