The 23rd Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition raised an all-time high $4,895,253, thanks to the tireless work of 53 participating Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies during six weeks of intensive fundraising this fall.
The grand total was announced at the December 6 performance of Gypsy of the Year, an afternoon of songs, original skits and dances performed by more than 300 singers, dancers and musicians representing the best of New York theatre community.
Since 1989, the 23 editions of Gypsy of the Year have raised a total of $49,031,973 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The previous fundraising record was $4.6 million in 2009. Last year's event raised $3.7 million.
Hugh Jackman, Bernadette Peters and Daniel Radcliffe announced the grand total to a standing-room-only audience at the New Amsterdam Theatre, home to Disney's Mary Poppins. The three presented awards to the top fundraising companies and best performances in this year's show.
Jackman also was honored with a special award for raising $857,740 in only three weeks of his run of Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway.
The 23rd edition of Gypsy of the Year, which was presented in two shows on December 5 and 6, was again hosted by noted Broadway personality Seth Rudetsky (“Seth’s Big Fat Broadway” on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio), who kept the crowd of theatre lovers entertained with his always hysterical "Deconstructions" of the highs and lows of Broadway singing.
Gypsy of the Year, is the culmination of six weeks of intensive fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies. The entire theatre community gathers for the competitive variety show, which features the most talented singers and dancers in the ensemble of shows, known as "gypsies."
The audience erupted with cheers as the original 1972 Broadway cast of Grease took the stage, in a spirited reunion celebrating the show's upcoming 40th anniversary. Stars Barry Bostwick, Carole Demas, Adrienne Barbeau, Alan Paul, Walter Bobbie, Don Billett, James Canning, Daniel Douglas, Katie Hanley, Tom Harris, Ilene Kristen, Joy Rinaldi and Mews Small kept the audience screaming in delight as they revisited songs from one of the most popular musicals in Broadway history.
The opening number, which also included 16 talented Broadway gypsies adding to the Rydell High student body, was created by Director/Choreographer Rommy Sandhu and Music Director Ben Cohn, with the generous participation of original choreographer Patricia Birch. Also present was original director Tom Moore and Jim Jacobs who, with late collaborator Warren Casey, co-wrote the unforgettable book, music and lyrics.