Though Easter fell on April 4th this year, Broadway will truly celebrate the festive holiday April 19-20. That's when stars and gypsies of Broadway shows don their outlandish haberdashery for the 13th annual Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition. As it did last year, the "competition" takes place at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre (home of The Lion King).
Casts and crews of shows in New York and on the road taking part in last year's competition raised a record $1,793,137 to fight the ravages of HIV AIDS. That figure was more than $300,000 higher than the 1997 total.
As anyone who's attended a Bonnet benefit knows, the event isn't so much about hats -- though each show designs a wildly colorful chapeau displayed in the lobby and, later, on a performer's head -- but the series of musical numbers, many of which spoof the shows themselves or Broadway trends and personalities. Last year, a gaggle of celebrities presented the acts, including Rebecca Luker (The Sound of Music), John Vickery (The Lion King), Douglas Sills (The Scarlet Pimpernel) and Tyne Daly (Mystery School).
For more information on the Easter Bonnet Competition and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, check out their website at