Stars of Spamalot, Magnolias, Doubt and Avenue Q to Host Easter Bonnet Competition

News   Stars of Spamalot, Magnolias, Doubt and Avenue Q to Host Easter Bonnet Competition has learned that those scheduled to appear as hosts of the 19th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition — April 18 and 19 at the New Amsterdam Theatre — include Spamalot's David Hyde Pierce and Christopher Sieber, Steel Magnolias' Delta Burke, Doubt's Cherry Jones and Brian F. O'Byrne and Avenue Q's Rick Lyon and Barrett Foa.

Little Women star Maureen McGovern, who recently performed an all Richard Rodgers evening for Broadway Cares, will also be on hand at the annual festivities. McGovern will sing the David Friedman ballad "Help Is On the Way." Two other Broadway favorites, Harvey Fierstein and Jessica Lange, will announce the award winners.

The two-day Easter Bonnet spectacular, featuring more than 20 Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring companies, will be presented at 4:30 PM April 18 and at 2 PM April 19. The various shows will offer skits, songs and/or dances as well as a bonnet created specially for the competition.

Tickets are priced $20 (balcony), $40 (mezzanine), $90 (rear orchestra and front mezzanine), $200 (middle and side orchestra) and $350 (front and center orchestra) and are now available by calling (212) 840-0770, ext. 268 or by visiting Tickets are also on sale at the BC/EFA offices, 165 West 46th Street, suite 1300.

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.”

The New Amsterdam Theatre is located at 214 West 42nd Street.

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