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by Michael Portantiere

The Robe Must Go On!

  • The Robe Must Go On!

    The 20th annual Gypsy of the Year competition, which raised an amazing $3,061,14 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, was held at the New Amsterdam Theatrer -- and we've got the pics to prove it!


    The opening number was a colorful tribute to one of Broadway's most beloved traditions, The Gypsy Robe.


    Tyne Daly and Jonathan Hadary, who hosted the initial Gypsy of the Year event 20 years ago, returned to host this one. They were helped in their duties by the indefatigable Broadway maven Seth Rudetsky.


    Our good friend Sarah Palin made an appearance at the event, courtesy of the company of Grease.


    The cast of The Little Mermaid did a presentation titled "Key West Side Story."


    Frankie James Grande of Mamma Mia! played Daniel Radcliffe in an Equus spoof.


    The company of The Lion King always offers a beautiful performance at Gypsy of the Year, and this year was no exception; their dance won the afternoon's presentation award.


    The gang from Spamalot offered an anthem of hope in this era of the new depression.


    "The Day Goes By," a gorgeous song that was cut from In the Heights, was sung and danced by members of that show's cast.


    The real Daniel Radcliffe turned up and did a number with the Equus horses.


    The kids from 13 told us that, if you want to be on Broadway these days, you've got to be under 18.


    Urinetown's Officer Lockstock and Little Sally made their much-looked-forward-to annual appearance. Their targets this year included Christian Hoff, the economy, and Rosie O'Donnell's TV variety show.


    Past and present members of the company of Hairspray raised the roof with one of the best songs from that show, "I Know Where I've Been."


    The cast of [title of show] offered an alternately hilarious and moving presentation about their first theater experiences.


    Harvey Fierstein, John Lithgow, and Christine Baranski announced the winners of the competition. Equus took the prize in the fundraising category, having raised more than $200,000!

    Published on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Michael Portantiere has more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has interviewed theater notables for NPR.org, PLAYBILL, STAGEBILL, and OPERA NEWS, and has written notes for several cast albums. Michael is co-author of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: BEHIND THE MYLAR CURTAIN, published in 2008 by Hal Leonard/Applause. Additionally, he is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several major websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.) He can be reached at [email protected]

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