The annual competition will be held at the New Amsterdam Theatre, home of Broadway’s The Lion King. The two-day spectacular will feature the companies of various Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions, and the shows will offer skits, songs and/or dances as well as a bonnet created specially for the competition.
A benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Easter Bonnet Competition ends a six-week period of intensive fundraising by the assorted Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Curtain speeches, autographed posters and program sales, auctions and cabaret performances are all part of the fundraising effort, which brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars. The company that raises the most funds for BC/EFA will be awarded a prize at the Easter Bonnet Competition. A second prize will be awarded to the company with the best bonnet design and presentation. Additional awards will be presented to the Broadway play, national tour and Off-Broadway production raising the most money.
Last year's competition raised $3,420,537 for BC/EFA. 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 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.”
Tickets for this year's event will go on sale Monday, March 7 via the Broadway Cares website (www.broadwaycares.org) or through the Broadway Cares office, (212) 840-0770. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fund-raising and grant-making organization. The New Amsterdam Theatre is located at 214 West 42nd Street.