A mind-blowing $3,359,000 was the total amount raised by company members of various Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring productions in the weeks leading up to this year's Gypsy of the Year competition, held for two performances at the Palace Theatre on Monday and Tuesday, December 8 and 9. Here are a gang of gypsies in the marathon opening number.
The event's co-hosts, Julie Halston and Mario Cantone, also participated in the opener. Here's Halston as a choreography-challenged Melanie Griffith...
...and here's Cantone as Liza Minnelli, confronting "David Gest."
Also featured in the opening number: Billy Porter (center, with Cantone and Halston)...
...and four veteran Broadway gypsies (left to right): Jennifer Smith, Harvey Evans, Patti Mariano, and Dana Moore.
As always, the Gypsy of the Year show was filled with alternately thrilling, moving, and hysterically funny skits and numbers. Here's the Mamma Mia! company in a hilarious bit titled "The Winter Garden Showchoir Strikes Back."
An audience favorite was the Little Shop of Horrors presentation, in which an especially unctuous James Lipton (played by Rob Bartlett) interviewed Audrey II.
Among the other show-stoppers: "Gypsy Nach Mendes," in which Brooks Ashmanskas and the cast of Gypsy gave us an idea of what director Sam Mendes might have done to that brilliant musical if he had been given free rein...
...and the 42nd Street presentation, with Josh Walden as Björk.
The company of Taboo offered "Rosie's Turn," which began with producer Rosie O'Donnell berating star Boy George from out front in the most foul language imaginable. O'Donnell then moved to the stage, threw a bunch of T-shirts to the audience, and joined the company in a chorus line.
Hugh Jackman, star of The Boy From Oz, proved that he can blend into an ensemble as he joined his fellow cast members in a tribute to Peter Allen, the late Australian singer/songwriter on whose life the musical is based.
At the end of the show -- after the last star had been skewered, the last song sung, and the last dance danced -- Jackman returned to the stage in the company of Bernadette Peters (Gypsy) and Harvey Fierstein (Hairspray) to announce the Gypsy of the Year winners in the fundraising and presentation categories. Click here to access TheaterMania's news report on the event.