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Gypsy of the Year Raises Over $3.7 Million for BC/EFA

Julie Nelson and Rudi Macaggi
(© Tristan Fuge)
The 22nd annual Gypsy of the Year competition was held at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Monday, December 6 at 4:30pm and Tuesday, December 7 at 2pm. The event is the culmination of six weeks of fund-raising by Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring shows. This year, over $3.7 million was raised for Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS.

Seth Rudetsky hosted the event. Celebrity presenters included Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Cherry Jones, T.R. Knight, Judith Light, Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, Billy Porter, Colin Quinn, and Elizabeth Stanley.

Three-time Tony Award winner Carol Channing performed the opening number, which was staged by choreographers Melissa Rae Mahon and Sean McKnight with musical direction by Ben Cohn, special lyrics by Rob Krausz and costumes by Brian Hemesath. Following the number, a cake was presented to Channing in honor of her 90th birthday, and she was paid tribute by Tyne Daly and Lee Roy Reams.

Over 15 shows participated in the "talent" competition. First prize went to Rock of Ages featuring a circus-themed act starring Julie Nelson and Rudi Macaggi; the first runner-up was The Addams Family, for which Adam Riegler (who plays Pugsley Addams) presented a special version of an "It Gets Better" video (co-written by star Nathan Lane).

Other performing highlights included Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda joining the company of In the Heights; Tony winner Douglas Hodge joining the cast of La Cage Aux Folles for a spoof of Annie; Promises, Promises star Molly Shannon appearing as her Saturday Night Live character Sally O'Malley, and an appearance by Adrian Bailey in a salute to 60 years of The Gypsy Robe.

Among the top fundraisers were the national tour of Jersey Boys; the two national tours of Wicked; and the Broadway company of Promises, Promises.

This year's judges included Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Alison Fraser, Boyd Gaines, Bebe Neuwirth, Eve Plumb, Patricia White, and Nick Wyman.

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