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Passing Stages by Louis Botto Gypsy Payoff The Eighth Annual "Gypsy of the Year Competition" held recently at the Virginia theatre raised $1,262,633 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the most ever raised for this event. For six weeks, Broadway and Off-Broadway shows raise funds for AIDS. The Fundraising Award goes to the production that raises the most money. This year's winner was Sunset Boulevard, which brought in a whopping $101,930. Runners-up were Show Boat ($100,177), Victor/Victoria ($93,528), Rent ($80,916), and a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Phantom of the Opera, both of which raised $76,900. The Off-Broadway Fundraising Award went to Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly, which raised $11,500. The Gypsy of the Year Award is given to the show that gives the best presentation at the theatre where the event is celebrated. This year's winner was the company of The King and I, including Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips, who did a parody of the classic opening number from A Chorus Line - with an Asian twist. In total, more than 400 people from 19 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows participated in this year's competition. [[Photo]] A hirsute Nathan Lane hosted this year's record-breaking Eight Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition" Berlin Gems Unsung Irving Berlin, a two-CD set featuring 31 songs by Irving Berlin that were either cut from shows, written for musicals that were never produced, or simply never heard at all, was so successful when it was released a few years ago that Varèse Sarabande Records has chosen 15 of these songs and put them on a single CD called Highlights from Unsung Berlin. Sung by such musical theatre stars as Liz Callaway, Harry Groener, Crista Moore, Laurie Beechman and may others, the select gems include the saucy "I Don't Wanna Be Married," "I just Wanna Be Friends," "It's a Lovely Day for a Walk," "You're a Sucker for a Dame," "I Left My Door Open and My Daddy Walked Out" and many more. The CD was produced by Bruce Kimmel and features musical direction, arrangements and orchestrations by Lanny Meyers. (Suggested list price, $16.98.) Musical Space There's good news for aspiring writers and composers of the American Musical Theatre. Music Theatre International in Manhattan, one of the world's major dramatic licensing agencies, specializing in Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End Musicals, has just officially opened the Frank Loesser Artists' Space. As Mr. Loesser was one of MTI's original principals (and helped develop the talents of such people as Meredith Willson, Stephen Sondheim, Richard Adler, Jerry Ross, Alfred Uhry, Robert Waldman, Peter Stone and Charles Strouse), the Chairman of MTI, Freddie Gershon, thought it appropriate to perpetuate Mr. Loesser's legacy by providing an environment for new musical theatre and a place to introduce young people to it. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, this 1,200 square feet of free space, complete with a Baldwin grand piano, is a perfect setting for collaboration, interaction and presentation of new material. Music Theatre International is located at 421 W. 54th Street, second floor in Manhattan. [[Full page ad showing two men and a woman looking cold and smoking outside with snow falling in black and white. Headline reads Don't Freeze Your Butts off at Intermission. The product photo of Nicorette gum is in color with the tagline below that reads You Can Do it. Nicorette can help. Copyright 1997 SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare. Use as directed.]]
Photo of a white man with a white afro in a dark suit wearing a ribbon in support of AIDS research holding a microphone.
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