Gypsy of the Year: Suggestion

I’ve just come from the New Amsterdam Theatre and the 2008 “Gypsy of the Year” event, the culmination of several weeks of fundraising for the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. $3,061,147 was raised, which is wonderful. As always, there was much talent on display, as the chorus members of Broadway and off-Broadway shows strutted their stuff. One thing that I think has become more and more glaring as the years have gone by: the wide-open rule for the skits is a mistake. Almost ever year, it seems, one of the casts presents a pure modern-dance number, which often grabs the big prize. It did again this time, with “The Lion King”‘s exciting pure-dance routine taking top-honors for onstage presentation. Meanwhile, every other routine has a theme with at least some connection to Broadway or related subject matter. I suppose you could argue that every other cast could present a pure-dance number, to increase its chances of winning, so why don’t they? Still, I think the rules should be changed, so that every entry connects to Broadway. No matter how well-done, those pure-dance numbers, ironically, are out-of-step with the proceedings.

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