Broadway audiences are enjoying a little extra entertainment and memorabilia as shows are selling and auctioning items to help Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS. The weeks of fundraising culminates at the annual Easter Bonnet competition, held this year April 19 and 20 at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
Little Shop of Horrors star Douglas Sills has vowed to outdo The Boy From Oz star Hugh Jackman, recently offering stripteases to audiences. Avenue Q's Ann Harada rustles up offers for packages which include backstage tours, a photo with a puppet and signed posters; also available are "It Sucks To Be Me" buttons and Trekkie Monster "The Internet Is for Porn" mousepads. Alfred Molina of Fiddler on the Roof offers more "Tradition" with cast-signed posters and "I (Love) Anatevka" t-shirts.
42nd Street offers a silent auction which includes a walk-on role, tap lessons or dinners with cast members. The company also offers a dessert cookbook appropriately named "42nd Sweets."
Among the items currently being bid upon (through eBay) include a signed fedora by The Producers stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, Bernadette Peters' Gypsy costume jewelry, Angel's zebra-print pants from Rent, a container of Elphaba's Jelly Beans signed by Wicked witch Idina Menzel and a cast and Billy Joel-signed drum head with the Movin' Out logo.
For the recent Gypsy of the Year competition in December 2003, The Boy From Oz brought in the most money of any show with $632,998. Coming close were Hairspray ($303,024), The Phantom of the Opera ($155,964), Gypsy ($147, 366) and Mamma Mia! ($133, 286). Tickets for the 18th annual "Easter Bonnet" event will are available by calling (212) 840-0770. For further information, visit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on the web at www.bcefa.org.