BC/EFA Announces Celebrity Participants for Easter Bonnet Competition

Photo by Monica Simoes

The stars will align for the 27th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition when Tom Hanks, Cyndi Lauper, Harvey Fierstein, Andrea Martin, Nathan Lane and more than 200 of Broadway and Off-Broadway’s most talented performers join together for the annual event, presented by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. This year’s Easter Bonnet Competition will be held Monday, April 22 and Tuesday, April 23 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.

Two-time Academy Award winner Hanks (Lucky Guy), Grammy Award winner Lauper (Kinky Boots) and four-time Tony Award winner Fierstein (Kinky Boots) will present the top fundraising and best presentation awards at the Tuesday performance.  Two-time Tony winner Lane (The Nance) and Tony winner Martin (Pippin) will introduce the competition’s judges.

Three-time Tony nominee Marin Mazzie (Next to Normal) will star in an original opening number, directed and choreographed by Al Blackstone. Tony nominee Jessie Mueller (Nice Work If You Can Get It) will close the show with the traditional performance of “Help is on the Way,” BC/EFA’s Easter Bonnet anthem.

Broadway’s biggest names this season will grace the stage throughout the competition.  Stars scheduled to appear include Tony winner Victoria Clark (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), two-time Tony winner Katie Finneran (Annie), Shalita Grant (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Ann Harada (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Tony winner Harriet Harris (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Andy Karl (Jersey Boys), Ron Kunene (Disney’s The Lion King), Tshidi Manye (Disney’s The Lion King), Christopher McDonald (Lucky Guy), Judy McLane (Mamma Mia!); Mark Nelson (My Name is Asher Lev) and Billy Porter (Kinky Boots) and three-time Emmy Award nominee Peter Scolari (Lucky Guy).

The show also will feature a special encore appearance by “Officer Lockstock and Little Sally” (Don Richard and Jennifer Cody) and a national touring show presentation, choreographed by Courtney Young and featuring bonnets from the tours of Les Misérables and Mary Poppins.

The Easter Bonnet judges will include two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes (Kinky Boots), choreographer Josh Bergasse (NBC’s Smash), Grammy Award nominee Deborah Cox and Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis (Jekyll and Hyde), Tony winner Cady Huffman (The Nance), Paul Libin, executive vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters and president of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ Board of Directors, Emmy winner Holland Taylor (Ann) and Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar). Also joining the judging panel are Hollis Stern and Peg Wendlandt, who both won their spots by being high bidders on exclusive VIP packages at the 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.

Productions scheduled to perform and present bonnets include A Christmas Story: The Musical, Ann, Annie, Avenue Q, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Chicago, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Kinky Boots, Mamma Mia!, Newsies, Once, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Disney’s The Lion King and Wicked, with a special performance by MOMIX representing Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares, and a special bonnet presented by the Broadway Green Alliance.

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 22 at 4:30 pm and Tuesday, April 23 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 26 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.

The Easter Bonnet Competition is sponsored by The New York Times and United Airlines.

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 $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 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.

For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at broadwaycares.org, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/BCEFA, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/BCEFA, watch us on YouTube at youtube.com/BCEFAtv and pin us on Pinterest at pinterest.com/BCEFA.

This entry was posted in BC/EFA, Easter Bonnet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.