A host of Broadway favorites are part of the 33rd annual Easter Bonnet Competition—the culmination of six weeks of fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring companies—April 22 at 4:30 PM and April 23 at 2 PM at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre, home to Disney’s The Lion King.
Shows scheduled to present songs, skits, or dances and handcrafted bonnets include Aladdin, Avenue Q, Be More Chill, The Cher Show, Come From Away, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, Frozen, King Kong, Network, and NEWSical the Musical. A special Bonnet Parade will also include bonnets from Kiss Me, Kate,Waitress, Wicked, and the national tour of Hello, Dolly!, as well as Broadway Cares affiliate organizations Broadway Green Alliance, Broadway Serves, and R.Evolución Latina.
The opening number, directed and choreographed by James Kinney, was written and co-directed by Billy Hipkins. The fundraising effort of national tours will be represented in a number directed and choreographed by Richard J. Hinds. Kinney will also present a piece he choreographed for Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. It will be performed by Ahmad Simmons (Hadestown) and Corey John Snide (Carousel).
Scheduled to make appearances are Stephen Ashfield, Kim Exum, and Cody Jamison Strand (The Book of Mormon); Micaela Diamond and Jarrod Spector (The Cher Show); Bongi Duma and Tryphena Wade (The Lion King); Gideon Glick, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Will Pullen (To Kill a Mockingbird); Andy Karl and Orfeh (Pretty Woman); and Beth Leavel and Christopher Sieber (The Prom).
Kathleen E. Purvis directs the annual event with Arabella Powell as production stage manager, Ted Arthur as music director, and Charles Gordon as orchestra coordinator. Sound design is by Alain Van Achte with lighting design by Timothy Reed.
The winners of top fundraiser, best presentation, and best bonnet design, as well as the spring fundraising total, will be announced April 23 by Bryan Cranston (Network), Jeff Daniels (To Kill a Mockingbird), Glenda Jackson (King Lear), and Kelli O’Hara (Kiss Me, Kate).
Jayne Houdyshell (King Lear), Heidi Schreck (What the Constitution Means to Me), and James Snyder (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) will also introduce the competition’s judges at the April 23 performance; this year's judges are Gbenga Akinnagbe (To Kill a Mockingbird); Samantha Barks (Pretty Woman); Lisa Brescia and Andrew Barth Feldman (Dear Evan Hansen); Paige Davis (Chicago, host of TV’s Trading Spaces); Jenny Jules (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child); Patrick Page (Hadestown); Emily Skinner and Teal Wicks (The Cher Show); and Mary Testa (Oklahoma!). Also joining the panel are Nathan Noh and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by bidding on VIP packages at the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.
Karen Mason (Love Never Dies) will perform David Friedman’s “Help Is on the Way,” the longtime Easter Bonnet Competition closing anthem.
Since 1987, the 32 editions of the Easter Bonnet Competition have raised $80.9 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
A limited number of tickets, starting at $30, are now available at BroadwayCares.org.