The awards for the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' 16th annual Easter Bonnet Competition were presented the afternoon of April 23, with the grand prize for fundraising going to Mamma Mia! with $162,037. All told, $1,826,392 was raised by the participating shows this year.
Rosie O'Donnell was joined by Kathleen Turner and Billy Crudup to present the awards. The award to the Broadway play that raised the most money went to Metamorphoses, which gathered up $102,209.
First runner-up for Broadway fundraising also went to Mamma Mia!—in this case the touring production I, which netted $140,077. This was the first time that a national tour placed in the competition.
Second runner-up for fundraising on Broadway went to Rent with $97,568. The third runner-up prize went to The Lion King with $89,548. Finally, fourth runner-up was The Phantom of the Opera, which collected $84,433.
The Off-Broadway fundraising award was won by Naked Boys Singing, which collected (who knows where they put it) $17,605. On the artistic side of things, Metamorphoses won big again, taking home first prize for best bonnet presentation. Second and third prizes went, respectively, to Proof, and Naked Boy Singing and The Producers, in a tie. A special award for bonnet design and construction went to Chris March of The Producers.
The Easter Bonnet Competition took place April 22 and 23 at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre.
Similar to BC/EFA's "Gypsy of the Year" event, "Easter Bonnet" has cast members from various shows performing songs and frequently spoofing themselves and other shows before presenting their elaborate "Easter Bonnet" entry. Last year, Broadway and Off-Broadway shows collectively earned a record $2,275,659 for BC/EFA after six weeks of post-show fundraising from their respective stages.
Other BC/EFA fundraising events include the aforementioned Gypsy of the Year competition (which this season raised just over $2 million), the fall Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction ($358K), 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 (Feb. 10).
—By Robert Simonson
and Andrew Gans