Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

André De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ken Page, Charl Brown, Carly Hughes, Christina Sajous, Alton Fitzgerald White and Lillias White Set for 26th Annual Edition of BC/EFA’s ‘Gypsy of the Year’, Celebrating 40th Anniversary of ‘The Wiz’ on December 8 & 9

The Wiz's André De Shields brought the house down as he sang " Do You Wanted to Meet the Wizard" in his original Broadway costume as part of The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall in New York on June 23, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

The Wiz’s André De Shields brought the house down as he sang ” Do You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” in his original Broadway costume as part of The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall in New York on June 23, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

The 26th annual edition of BC/EFA’s Gypsy of the Year will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking musical The Wiz and feature performances by the uber-talented “gypsies” of 12 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, on Monday, December 8th at 4:30 pm and Tuesday, December 9th at 2 pm at the New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 West 42nd Street in New York.

The opening number will honor the 40th anniversary of The Wiz, winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical. The Wiz, directed by Geoffrey Holder, was one of the first large-scale, big-budget Broadway musicals to feature an all-black cast. Returning to the yellow brick road for this special event are Dee Dee Bridgewater, André De Shields and Ken Page. They’ll be joined by Charl Brown (Motown: The Musical), Carly Hughes (Pippin),  Christina Sajous (Holler If Ya Hear Me), Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King) and Lillias White (Fela), who will also close the show with a special performance of “Home.” The opening number was created by T. Oliver Reid, Brian Harlan Brooks and Ben Cohn.

Photos & Video: The Wiz’s André De Shields Sang “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall

Geoffrey Holder, Artist, Actor, Dancer, Choreographer, Two-Time Tony Award-winning Director and Costume Designer for The Wiz, Dies at 84; Son Pens Intimate Account of Last Days

gypsy2014-2x3Broadway personality and longtime Broadway Cares friend Seth Rudetsky (“Seth’s Big Fat Broadway” on Sirius/XM Radio) returns for the seventh year in a row to host.

The show will feature special appearances by Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane (It’s Only a Play), Lena Hall and Michael C. Hall (Hedwig and The Angry Inch), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin), Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), and Judith Light (The Assembled Parties).

This year’s show will include 200 Broadway and Off-Broadway performers. Among the shows scheduled to perform original numbers are AladdinAvenue QChicagoKinky BootsThe Lion KingMamma Mia!Motown: The MusicalOncePippinRock of AgesRodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Wicked.

The Gypsy of the Year performances mark the culmination of six weeks of intensive fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies. The show features a sensational display of the most talented singers and dancers in the ensemble of shows, known as “gypsies.” Awards are presented to the top fundraisers and for the best presentation during the two performances.

An esteemed panel of judges will select the best presentation award winners at Tuesday’s performance. This year’s judges are Julie Halston, Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed (Aladdin), Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Micah Stock (It’s Only a Play), Jujamcyn Theaters Executive Vice President and BC/EFA Board of Trustees President Paul Libin and original Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS staffer Yvonne Ghareeb, who is retiring in January after 26 years with the organization. Also joining the panel are Lee Perlman and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by being high bidders on exclusive VIP packages at the 28th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.

Often called “the season’s most dazzling talent show,” the 25 editions of Gypsy of the Year have raised more than $57.2 million. Last year’s show raised $4,343,234.

Tickets are no longer available online for either performance of Gypsy of the Year. A limited number of tickets will be available at the will call in the lobby of the New Amsterdam Theatre. The will call table will open at 3 pm for Monday’s show and at 12:30 pm for Tuesday’s show. Tickets are not available at the New Amsterdam box office.

If you previously ordered tickets, they can be picked up at the will call table on the day of your performance. No tickets were mailed for this event.

About Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS:
Equity Fights AIDS was founded in October 1987 by the Council of Actors’ Equity Association. Money raised through the efforts of Equity theatre companies across the country was specifically earmarked for The Actors Fund’s AIDS Initiative.

Broadway Cares was founded in February 1988 by members of The Producers’ Group. Money raised was earmarked to be awarded to AIDS service organizations nationwide, including Equity Fights AIDS.

In May 1992, Equity Fights AIDS and Broadway Cares merged to become Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The Board of Trustees of this newly established not-for-profit fundraising organization assumed the missions of the previously separate organizations and continues to fund the social service work of The Actors Fund and to award grants three times a year to AIDS service organizations nationwide.

Unlike most other nonprofit, grant-making organizations, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS must raise every single dollar of our philanthropic budget every year in order to fulfill our mission. In turn, BC/EFA works hard to ensure that the money we raise is spent carefully and wisely on programs where these hard-earned funds can have the maximum possible impact.

Other articles about André De Shields:
The Fortress of Solitude, starring Adam Chanler-Berat, André De Shields, Kyle Beltran, Kevin Mambo, Rebecca Naomi Jones ends extended run 11/16; Ghostlight to Record Cast Album
Nov. 17: Chapman Roberts, Loretta Abbott, André De Shields, David Greer, Norm Lewis, Cherine Anderson, Lawrence Evans, Colby Christina & Nicholas A. Jenkins to Receive Special AUDELCO Awards
Photos: André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Jose Llana, Kevin Mambo, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Kyle Beltran, Kim Brockington and More at The Fortress of Solitude 
Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy Winner André De Shields Performs FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory and Speaks on The Wisdome of The Ancient Art of Storytelling at AFP 2014: Change Through Stories, Sept. 8-9, 2014
Aug. 14: André De Shields, Keith David, Tony Plana, Hill Harper, Armando Riesco, Kevin Mambo, Colman Domingo, and Peter McRobbie Set for Staged Reading of Toast By Lemon Andersen at Guild Hall
Dinner with André De Shields at Chez Josephine
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Click here for more articles on André De Shields.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Ann Harada Ends Run on Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ on December 14; Set for World Premiere of ‘Brooklynite’ at The Vineyard in January 2015
Q & A with Danny Ramm, Co-writer of Joe Mantegna Helmed ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode to Honor the late Meshach Taylor; Airs January 21, 2015
James Yaegashi, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Ernest Abuba, Tsering Dorjee, Takemi Kitamura, James Saito, Jon Norman Schneider in Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy in the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at LCT 
Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Father Comes Home From the Wars” is #2 on TIME’s Top 10 Plays & Musicals List; Ends Run December 7 at The Public Theater 
Emmy Winner Richard Thomas and Anna Chlumsky Set For Broadway’s YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, Beginning January 6, 2015 
Lia Chang Picks: Island Breeze CD by Jeff Peterson, Riley Lee & Kenny Endo 
New York Times Critics’ Pick OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall, extends through December 14
Lia Chang Picks: Arthur Dong’s Forbidden City: Chinese-American Nightclubs, 1930-1970 
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Second Stage Theatre’s Tony Kiser Theatre Beginning January 16, 2015
Yellow Sound Label to Release BD Wong’s Debut CD HERRINGBONE on December 2, 2014
Photos: BD Wong, Cindy Cheung, Brooke Ishibashi,Thom Sesma, Manna Nichols, Steven Eng, Ariel Estrada and Lori Tan Chinn at Leviathan Lab’s Ghost Stories
Apple Video Podcast: New York Post Writer Michael Riedel Interviews David Byrne, Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora of Here Lies Love
Cheryl L. Davis’ Maid’s Door Sweeps AUDELCOs with 7 Wins; Complete List of 2014 AUDELCO Recipients
Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Set for Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I 
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
NYU Theatrical Production Presents the World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night in the Shubert Theatre at Tisch School of the Arts
Q & A with Playwright Camille Darby, 2014-15 Dramatists Guild Playwrighting Fellow
Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum to Focus on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion, May 7–August 16, 2015
Photos: Art Salon with Artist Yang Chihung and Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang at New-York Historical Society
Photos: Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion on View through April 19, 2015 at New York Historical Society
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Photos: Ali Ewoldt, Arielle Jacobs, Joel Perez, Adam Jacobs, Telly Leung and Alan Muraoka at Christine Toy Johnson and Jason Ma’s Barcelona at The Theatre at CAP21 
Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee
Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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