Theater News

Erika Henningsen, Mike Birbiglia, and More to Appear at Red Bucket Follies

The show will also feature a tribute to ”Flower Drum Song” conceived by Lainie Sakakura and Telly Leung.

Erika Henningsen will make a guest appearance at this year's Red Bucket Follies.
Erika Henningsen will make a guest appearance at this year's Red Bucket Follies.
(© David Gordon)

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has announced the lineup of guest appearances and other additional details for the Red Bucket Follies (formerly known as Gypsy of the Year), the annual vaudeville of songs, dances, and skits that will be performed on Monday, December 3, at 4:30pm, and Tuesday, December 4, at 2pm at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The events will be a culmination of six weeks of annual fall fundraising that began October 19 in support of BC/EFA.

Mike Birbiglia (The New One), Norbert Leo Butz and Harry Hadden-Paton (My Fair Lady); Kevin Chamberlin (Wicked); Noma Dumezweni, Poppy Miller, and Paul Thornley (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child); Erika Henningsen, Ashley Park, Kate Rockwell, Kyle Selig, and Jennifer Simard (Mean Girls); Cherry Jones (The Lifespan of a Fact); and Michael Urie (Torch Song) will make appearances.

This year's songs, skits, and dances will feature more than 150 singers and dancers. Broadway shows scheduled to perform will include Chicago, Frozen, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, and Wicked, as well as off-Broadway's Avenue Q, Fiddler on the Roof (in Yiddish) and NEWSical the Musical. Also, representing Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of BC/EFA, choreographer Billy Griffin will share an original piece created for this year's Hudson Valley Dance Festival.

The opening number will honor the legacy of Asian-Americans on Broadway, paying tribute to the productions of Flower Drum Song. Featuring members of the original 1958 cast as well as Asians currently on Broadway, the piece will celebrate Broadway's diversity and the diversity within the Asian-American experience. The number was conceived by Lainie Sakakura and Telly Leung and will be directed and choreographed by Alex Sanchez.

A panel of distinguished judges will award best presentation honors at Tuesday's performance. This year's judges are music supervisor Mary-Mitchell Campbell (The Prom), Ali Ewoldt and Jay Armstrong Johnson (The Phantom of the Opera), Rosemary Harris (My Fair Lady), Andy Karl and Orfeh (Pretty Woman: The Musical), Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla (The Prom), Peppermint (Head Over Heels), and Nicolette Robinson (Waitress). Also joining the panel are Nathan Noh and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by bidding on exclusive VIP packages at the 32nd Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.

Seth Rudetsky will lead the festivities for the 11th year. The show also will include a number directed and choreographed by Karla Puno Garcia honoring the national touring shows that participated in the fall fundraising, and a tribute to BC/EFA's iconic red buckets directed and choreographed by Chaz Wolcott.

The Red Bucket Follies will build on the 29-year legacy of the Gypsy of the Year competition, which honors the work of the theater's ensemble singers and dancers. The show will continue to showcase ensemble members and special guests performing original skits, songs, and dances, with awards given to the best presentation and for the top fundraisers from the six weeks' efforts.

Since 1989, the 29 editions of Gypsy of the Year raised $76 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.