The original Broadway cast of Grease will reunite to perform a special 40-year anniversary tribute to the show in the opening number of the 2011 Gypsy of the Year competition. The 23rd annual event, to be held on December 5 and 6 at the New Amsterdam Theatre, benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway personality Seth Rudetsky will host.
Grease opened in Chicago in 1971 before debuting in 1972 at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre, where it garnered seven Tony Award nominations. Among the original stars returning to the stage are Barry Bostwick (Danny), Carole Demas (Sandy), Adrienne Barbeau (Betty Rizzo), Alan Paul (Teen Angel/Johnny Casino) and Walter Bobbie (Roger), along with original cast members Don Billett (Vince Fontaine), James Canning (Doody), Daniel Douglas (Burger Palace Boy), Katie Hanley (Marty), Tom Harris (Eugene), Ilene Kristen (Patty Simcox), Joy Rinaldi (Pink Lady) and Mews Small (Frenchy).
Gypsy of the Year is the culmination of six weeks of fundraising by the casts of Broadway and off-Broadway shows, who compete to raise the most money for BC/EFA. The show includes performances by "gypsies" (and sometimes stars) in numbers created specifically for the event. Awards are presented to the companies that raise the most money and for the winning presentations.