Tony winning “The Producers” star Cady Huffman — who directs the opening number from Broadway’s Gypsy of the Year Awards — set out to make her contributions to this year’s show a celebration of the women’s suffragette movement, but couldn’t ignore the watershed year of male pigs in entertainment.
Over the weekend, we reported that the lyric “Don’t let Harvey backstage” had been added to the ensemble number, which kicks off the show Monday and Tuesday night at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Now Huffman hopes that that isn’t the only thing people take away from the show.
“This year seemed like the perfect time to celebrate women, as it is the centennial of women gaining the right to vote in New York State,” according to Huffman. “That’s how this all started. THEN Harvey’s story came along. And now it seems a daily occurrence that a powerful man is being outed for very bad behavior. We added one line to our number, which is 7 1/2 minutes long.”
Fittingly, “The Producers” character Ulla, played by Huffman on Broadway, is played by heroine Uma Thurman in the film version of the show. The entertainment world is still waiting for Thurman to make good on her promise late last month that “When I’m ready, I’ll say what I have to say” about her experiences with monsters in showbiz. Thurman made her Broadway debut last week in “The Parisian Woman.”
The Gypsy of the Year Awards features 150 Broadway performers, none of whom will be paid for their work. It will raise $ 5-million for Broadway Cares and Equity Fights AIDS, which supports a cause close to Huffman.
“I was on Broadway in the 80’s when the AIDS epidemic decimated my community,” she recalls. “My first friend died when I was 19 years old.”
Huffman’s opening ensemble closes with Amadi Chapata from “School of Rock” teaming up with “Disaster!” star Lacretta Nicole to sing Queen’s “Don’t Stop me Now.”
“There is a rousing finish with as many different women as human and time limitations allowed us,” Huffman says.
With Brian Niemietz