The 14th Annual Gypsy Of The Year Competition

Palace Theatre
Monday, December 8th / 4:30pm
Tuesday, December 9th / 3:00pm

A tour guide leads eager young gypsies visiting the GypsyMuseum, in the skit that opens the 2002 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Gypsy of the Year. She – no, make that, he – is producer Fran Weissler (played by Seth Rudesky), introducing her charges to the history of Broadway’s chorines and chorus boys.

That history includes the up-from-the-chorus triumphs of Tommy Tune, Bebe Neuwirth and Donna McKechnie (who returns to dance her famous A Chorus Line number, “The Music and the Mirror”). Deidre Goodwin recreates Neuwirth’s dance in Sweet Charity, Sean Martin Hingston leads a number from On the Town; and Mary MacLeod is Gwen Verdon’s Lola in the Damn Yankees number, which also featured the three of the recent Gypsy robes and a performance by Aida‘s Felicia Finley. Aida hosts the Gypsy of the Year Dec. 9 and 10 performances in its house, the Palace Theatre.

Tony Award winners Harriet Harris and Harvey Fierstein hosted the event, introducing the numbers and leading the audience in a moment of silence to remember those lost the battle against AIDS.

Hairspray and Urinetown took home the top honors at the 2002 Gyspy of the Year.Hairspray raised $375,607 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, besting the second place Rent ($237,689) by more than $100,000. The fundraiser runner-ups were Thoroughly Modern Millie ($143,890), Mamma Mia! ($136,766) and Flower Drum Song ($114,802).

With a typically acidic skit aimed at Equity’s waffling under producer pressure for special touring contracts, not to mention their Broadway fellows Thoroughly Modern Millie, Flower Drum Song and Hairspray, Urinetown won the Best Skit Prize. Les Miserables, introduced by Colm Wilkinson and featuring one hundred former and current cast members singing “Do You Hear the People Sing?,” was the runner-up. Altogether the six weeks of fall fundraising netted $2,623,825 for BC/EFA.

-By Christine Ehren
and Andrew Gans

excerpted with permission by www.playbill.com

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