By: Ellis Nassour
Who works harder on Broadway and on tour than anyone else in musicals? The gypsies, of course! And the work of theater’s indefatigable and often unsung ensemble dancers and singers and their tireless fundraising actives for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) will be honored December 9 at 4:30 P.M. and December 10 at 2 P.M. in editions of the annual sizzling Gypsy of the Year extravaganza, both at 2 P.M., at the Minskoff Theatre [home of The Lion King].
Have you put up your holiday stockings by the fireplace? If so, create joy for yourself and loved ones with tickets to GOTY, and help one of the nation’s most worthy and most active charities. Tickets go fast, so don’t be left out of what has been termed, without even a hint of exaggeration, "the season’s most dazzling talent show." The rousing, emotional, and often heart-pounding performances never fail to live up to its reputation.
Paying tribute to the more than 200 of theater’s most talented hoofers and vocalists, performing in outrageous choreographed skits and outrageous costumes, will be guest stars among Broadway’s brightest marquee names – and tradition holds that a theater legend always makes an appearance.
They’ll be joined by the comedy and musical stylings of host Seth Rudetsky, afternoon host of SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s On Broadway channel. He’s returning for his sixth GOTY, and there’s a reason: his quick wit and campy, inside takes on Broadway.
The annual event, produced by and benefiting the nation-wide outreach programs of BC/EF, is the culminating celebration of six weeks of fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies. Sponsors are The New York Times and United Airlines.
With the magnanimous support of theatergoers, the 24 editions of Gypsy of the Year have raised more than $53-million. Last year’s show raised just under $4-million.
As theatergoers know, BC/EFA is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, non-profit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. Since 1988, BC/EFA has raised more than $225-million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the U.S.
There’re a number of seasonal spectaculars that aid fundraising: a Theatre District star-studded and memorabilia-fill flea market, special events such as October’s Chita: A Legendary Celebration, saluting Broadway’s most famous gypsy, who rose to Tony-winning stardom, on her 80th birthday [$413, 660 raised]; and the generosity of the American theater community who donate currency to the BC/EFA red bucket brigade as they exit shows and special end of show fundraising events such as the purchase of signed Playbills, posters, even getting a photo taken with stars.
BC/EFA awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs of The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.
Tickets range from $20 – $110, with Priority seating and VIP packages at $200 and $350, respectively. They can be purchased online at broadwaycares.org or by calling (212) 840-0770, X. 268.
Another way to donate is to shop online at BroadwayCares.org for all manner of logoed items from aprons to mugs. A unique gift highlight this year is Julie Andrews in the Broadway Legends ornament series as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, a 6" tall glass ornament created exclusively for BC/EFA by Christopher Radko.
For more information, visit broadwaycares.org; and follow on Facebook at facebook.com/BCEFA; Twitter at twitter.com/BCEFA; tag ont Instagram at instagram.com/BCEFA, pin on Pinterest at pinterest.com/BCEFA; and watch various event outtakes on YouTube at youtube.com/BCEFAtv.