The line-up of presenters, judges, and participants for the 26th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition will include a four-time Tony Award winner, eight Tony Award nominees and more than 200 of Broadway and Off-Broadway’s most talented performers. This year’s Easter Bonnet Competition presented by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will be held Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24 at the Minskoff Theatre, 200 West 45th Street.
Tickets start as low as $20. They are available online at broadwaycares.org or by calling 212.840.0770, ext. 268.
A cast of hosts from among Broadway’s biggest stars this season will lead the audience through this year’s competition. Stars scheduled to appear include Stockard Channing, Judith Light and Stacy Keach (Other Desert Cities); Gavin Creel (Hair); Jeremy Jordan (Newsies); Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon); Raven-Symoné (Sister Act); Nick Jonas, Michael Urie and Rob Bartlett (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying); Corbin Bleu, Lindsay Mendez and George Salazar (Godspell); and Tshidi Manye and Ron Kunene (Disney’s The Lion King).
At the Tuesday performance, the Easter Bonnet top fundraising and best presentation awards will be presented by four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess) and Emmy Award winner Eric McCormack (The Best Man).
The Easter Bonnet judges will include Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancy (Venus in Fur), Celia Keenan-Bolger and Adam Chanler-Berat (Peter and the Starcatcher), Megan Hilty (TV’s “Smash”), comedian Lisa Lampanelli, costume designer Carrie Robbins, Frank Wood (Clybourne Park) and Mark Anderson, United Airline’s senior vice president of corporate and government affairs. Also joining the judging panel are Stephanie Toups and Karen Walter, who both won their spots by being high bidders on exclusive VIP packages at the 25th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September. The judges will be introduced by Seminar stars Jerry O’Connell and Justin Long.
Norm Lewis (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess) will close the show with the traditional performance of “Help is on the Way,” BC/EFA’s Easter Bonnet anthem.
Productions scheduled to perform and present bonnets include Anything Goes, The Awesome 80s Prom, Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Chicago, Death of a Salesman, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Once, Other Desert Cities, The Phantom of the Opera and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, with a special performance presented by Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares.
The Easter Bonnet Competition is a two-day Broadway spectacular that features the companies of Broadway, off-Broadway and touring productions singing, dancing and donning elaborate and often outrageous original bonnets. There will be two opportunities to see the Easter Bonnet Competition: Monday, April 23 at 4:30 pm and Tuesday, April 24 at 2 pm.
The Easter Bonnet Competition is the culmination of six intensive weeks of fundraising efforts by company members of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions. Curtain speeches, bucket collections, autographed poster and program sales, auctions and cabaret performances bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars from audiences prior to the competition. The winner of the Easter Bonnet Competition will be the company that raises the largest amount of money for Broadway Cares. Awards are also presented to the Broadway play, national tour and Off-Broadway production raising the most money. The judges determine awards given to the company with the best bonnet design and presentation.
The 25 previous editions of the Easter Bonnet Competition have raised more than $46 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Last year’s event raised $3,706,085.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.