26th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition Plays the Minskoff April 23-24

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23 Apr 2012

Norm Lewis will perform the anthem "Help Is On the Way"
Norm Lewis will perform the anthem "Help Is On the Way"
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The 26th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition — benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS — is presented at the Minskoff Theatre, currently the home of Disney's The Lion King, April 23 at 4:30 PM and April 24 at 2 PM.

The competition features the companies of various Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions, who offer skits, songs and/or dances as well as a bonnet created specially for the event.

Easter Bonnet judges include Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancy (Venus in Fur), Celia Keenan-Bolger and Adam Chanler-Berat (Peter and the Starcatcher), Megan Hilty ("Smash"), comedian Lisa Lampanelli, costume designer Carrie Robbins, Frank Wood (Clybourne Park) and United Airlines' Mark Anderson. Stephanie Toups and Karen Walter, who were the high bidders on VIP packages at the Broadway Flea Market, are also part of the judging panel.

Among the Broadway stars scheduled to appear during the celebration are Stockard Channing, Judith Light and Stacy Keach (Other Desert Cities); Gavin Creel (Hair); Jeremy Jordan (Newsies); Rory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon); Raven-Symoné (Sister Act); Nick Jonas, Michael Urie and Rob Bartlett (How to Succeed...); Corbin Bleu, Lindsay Mendez and George Salazar (Godspell); and Tshidi Manye and Ron Kunene (The Lion King).

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess star Norm Lewis will perform the anthem "Help Is On the Way" as part of the annual event. Tony winner Audra McDonald (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess) and Emmy Award winner Eric McCormack (The Best Man) will announce the top fundraisers and winning bonnet presentations during the April 24 finale.



Productions scheduled to perform are Anything Goes, The Awesome 80s Prom, Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Chicago, Death of a Salesman, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Once, Other Desert Cities, The Phantom of the Opera and Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, with a special performance presented by Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares.

A benefit for BC/EFA, 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.

The 25 previous editions of the Easter Bonnet Competition have raised more than $46 million for BC/EFA.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fund-raising and grant-making organization.

Tickets prices follow: $350 for VIP orchestra; $200 priority center orchestra; $120 side orchestra and front mezzanine; $40 rear side orchestra and middle mezzanine; and $20 rear mezzanine. Tickets are available now at broadwaycares.org or by calling (212) 840-0770, ext. 268.

The Minskoff Theatre is located in Manhattan at 200 West 45th Street.