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December 8, 2004

GYPSY OF THE YEAR

Raises Astonishing $2,754,631 To Benefit Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights Aids

The 16th Annual GYPSY OF THE YEAR COMPETITION raised a total of $2,754,631 this year through the combined efforts of 55 participating Broadway, Off-Broadway, and National Tour companies, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The competition is the culmination of six weeks of intensive fundraising where New York’s most talented “gypsies” (chorus members from Broadway and Off-Broadway shows) join in a spectacular competition/variety show, capping off a nationwide fundraising effort by Equity cast members from around the country. This year’s competition ended with the following dollar figures:

Fifth Runner Up: RENT $144,178
Fourth Runner Up: THE LION KING$150,822
Third Runner Up: PHANTOM OF THE OPERA$151,124
Second Runner up: MAMMA MIA!$154,032
Runner up: AVENUE Q$154,208
Top Fundraiser: WICKED$362,918

Special awards were given for the top fundraising Broadway play, Off-Broadway company, and touring company. This year the top fundraising play was TWELVE ANGRY MEN with $110,724; MENOPAUSE: THE MUSICAL took the Off-Broadway award for raising $13,200 and MAMMA MIA! took the touring prize for raising $147,929. THE LION KING and WICKED also nabbed the “best presentation” award.

Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray) hosted this year’s event with Brooke Shields, and Whoopi Goldberg joining him onstage during the awards presentation. Three of Equity’s famous Gypsy Robes were featured competition’s opening number, “Ask A Gypsy.”

This year’s celebrity judges included Mario Cantone (Laugh Whore), Cherry Jones (Doubt), Tovah Feldshuh (Golda’s Balcony) and Jai Rodriquez (“Queer Eye For The Straight Guy”), introduced by the irrepressible Dame Edna Everage.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) is the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fund raising and grant making organization. BC/EFA is the on-going, committed response from the American theater community to an urgent worldwide health crisis. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of this community, BC/EFA raises funds for AIDS-related causes across the United States. Since it’s founding in 1988, BC/EFA has distributed over $100 million for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV, or HIV-related illnesses. For more information, visit: www.BroadwayCares.org.

  -David Lotz





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