Diva and Wild Party cast member Eartha Kitt opened the 14th Annual Easter Bonnet April 25 with a Sondheim parody, "Bonnet Baby" and her trademark purr.
Annie Get Your Gun raised the most money for Easter Bonnet with a take of $181,000. Running up were The Lion King ($136,000), Rent ($121,700) and Chicago ($118,000) with the Off-Broadway fund-raising award going to Naked Boys Singing, who collected $26,490.
Footloose garnered the award for best bonnet and presentation with their highly original, no doubt youthfully-inspired headgear: a large derriere belonging to what looked like a Footloose chorus boy. Star Jeremy Kushnier sang about the fact that his company, despite horrific reviews and mockery by the news media, will manage to near their two year anniversary before vacating the Richard Rodgers for the September arrival of Seussical. He urged the critics to kiss their Easter bonnet before representations of the major newspapers, complete with big red lips, took him up on the offer.
Beauty and the Beast came in second with its Evita-inspired, long-run rant delivered by one of the musical's best pieces of cutlery, the Spoon, and Chicago came in third with their own Jeff Shade, who, stepping in as Roxie Hart due to the apathy of his company, performed high-flying baton tricks.
Together, Easter Bonnet raised $2,129,168, a new record for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.