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Gypsy of the Year Sets New Record for Fundraising

By New York City
Despite a 19-day strike, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS raised a record-breaking $3,927,110 as part of the 19th annual Gypsy of the Year competition, which concluded on December 18 at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

The special performance event was hosted by Jackie Hoffman, Mary Testa, and Bob Saget. Onstage guests included Tony Award winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and David Hyde Pierce, Rosie Perez, Spring Awakening's Blake Daniels, and Grease stars Max Crumm and Laura Osnes.

As a special treat, Chita Rivera, Carol Lawrence, and numerous cast members from the original Broadway production of West Side Story, including Mickey Calin (Riff), Ken LeRoy (Bernardo), Jamie Sanchez (Chino), and Reri Grist (Consuelo), performed as part of the opening and closing numbers.

There were 16 entries in this year's talent competition, and the winner was the cast of The Color Purple, which performed a dance number called "Pressure." The first runner-up prize was tied by the cast of The Ritz, led by Seth Rudetsky, which illustrated some notorious onstage and offstage mishaps in Broadway history, and the casts of Stomp and Xanadu, which did a combined presentation of Sandi Thom's song "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker."

This year's top fundraisers included the national tour of Jersey Boys ($327,404), the Chicago company of Jersey Boys ($293, 673), the Broadway company of Wicked ($208,406), the L.A. company of Wicked ($204,062), the Broadway company of Legally Blonde ($171,058), the Broadway company of The Ritz ($120,889), the Broadway company of Mary Poppins ($120,889), and the Off-Broadway company of Altar Boyz ($36,000).

TheaterMania will run a photo feature from the event later this week.


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