General-public tickets for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' 16th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition April 22-23 at the New Amsterdam Theatre will go on sale 10 AM April 16.
Until then, only Benefactors and VIPs will be able to purchase admission at $350 and $200 a pop. The general tickets April 16 range $20-$75. For information, call (212) 840-0770.
Similar to BC/EFA's Gypsy of the Year event, Easter Bonnet has cast members from various Equity-affiliated New York shows performing songs and frequently spoofing themselves and other shows before presenting their elaborate "Easter Bonnet" entry. In 2001, Broadway and Off-Broadway shows collectively earned a record $2,275,659 for BC/EFA after six weeks of post-curtain fundraising from their respective stages. (Many shows did fundraising for BC/EFA during the competition period, but not all of them prepared bonnets or performed in the New Amsterdam show.)
* In terms of fundraising, the cast from Neil Simon's The Dinner Party took the top spot in 2001, raising a total of $175,225 — the most earned for any single show. The spirit of generosity and goodwill in the Broadway community was evident throughout the event. Other winning casts in the fundraising category included first runner up Annie Get Your Gun with $175,146. The near draw between The Dinner Party and Annie Get Your Gun marks the closest any two shows have ever come to a tie in the history of the 15 year-old competition.
Other runners up included the casts from second place The Lion King ($120,714), third place Phantom of the Opera ($116,460), fourth place Rent ($97,992) and Off-Broadway's Stomp ($27,900).
In the creative Easter Bonnet competition, third place went to Cabaret's entry, "Don't Have a Cow," followed by The Music Man's "We've Got the Music, Man!" in second place. First place went to Annie Get Your Gun for the entry "From Nashville to New York."
A separate and special award was shared by the casts of both The Music Man and Annie Get Your Gun based solely on the "design and construction" of their respective bonnets. First place winners Annie Get Your Gun received four separate rounds of applause, obviously intended for the show's star, country singer Reba McEntire. A recent darling of Broadway, McEntire sang "I'll Be" by songwriter Diane Warren and "Why Haven't I Heard from You" by Sandy Knox and T.W. Hale.
BC/EFA sponsor the Target Corporation donated $350,000 to the fight against AIDS, pushing this year's total above 2000's record-breaking $2,129,168.
Other BC/EFA fundraising events include the aforementioned Gypsy of the Year competition, the fall Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction, the strip-teasey Broadway Bares (due June 16 at Roseland), the Nothing Like a Dame concert (due March 18 at the St. James Theatre) and the Broadway Bears collectible auction.
— By Christine Ehren
and Kenneth Jones