Broadway Beat is currently selling this year's competition — featuring the award-winning Avenue Jew sketch — via its website, www.broadwaybeat.com. A video of the event sells for $25; the DVD is priced at $35.
The two-day spectacular — April 19 and 20 at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre — raised a whopping $3,420,537 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fund-raising and grant-making organization. The annual fundraiser ended a six-week period of intensive fundraising by the assorted Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.
Awards are presented annually to the companies that raise the most funds for BC/EFA; awards are also distributed to the shows with the best bonnet designs and presentations.
The Boy From Oz — starring Hugh Jackman — raised the most for BC/EFA, bringing in $539,058. The other top fundraisers included The Producers ($368,050), Hairspray ($217,813), Wicked ($158,497) and Gypsy ($149,595). Additional fundraising prizes were given to the Broadway play that raised the most money (Golda’s Balcony, $78,654), the Off-Broadway production that raised the most money (Fame, $21,882), and the national tour that brought in the most funds (Mamma Mia! tour #2, $151,830).
Best bonnet presentation was awarded to Avenue Q and Fiddler on the Roof, who joined forces to present a skit entitled Avenue Jew. The cast and puppets of Q donned hats, babushkas and sidelocks and sang about going home to Avenue Jew. Trekkie Monster opened the skit by scratching out the Fiddler theme on a fiddle and then eating the instrument. A version of Fiddler's "Tradition" pitted the puppets versus the humans, and the sketch ended with a rewrite of an Avenue Q number called "Everyone's a Little Bit Jewish." The Producers was awarded second prize in this category for its skit about gay marriage, which included a parody of Stephen Sondheim’s “Getting Married Today.” Thoroughly Modern Millie won third prize in the bonnet presentation category for a moving performance entitled “Letters from Home.”
The competition included guest hosts Bernadette Peters, Joel Grey, Ann Harada, Tovah Feldshuh, Randy Graff, Joe Machota, Michael Mulheren, John Tartaglia, Christopher Sieber, Ron Kunene and Tsidii Manye. Harvey Fierstein, Audra McDonald and Sean Combs announced the winners after Wicked’s Idina Menzel belted out the David Friedman anthem “Help Is On the Way.”
For more information about Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, visit www.broadwaycares.org.