Line-Up Announced for 31st Annual Easter Bonnet Competition
Broadway's fresh new faces, sensational stars, extraordinary ensembles and venerable veterans will take the stage at the 31st annual Easter Bonnet Competition on Monday, April 24, and Tuesday, April 25, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Easter Bonnet Competition (#BroadwayBonnets) will include guest appearances from Denée Benton and Lucas Steele (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812); Barrett Doss and Andy Karl (Groundhog Day); Bongi Duma and Tshidi Manye (The Lion King); Gideon Glick and Sas Goldberg (Significant Other) and Rachel Bay Jones and Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen). Nick Kroll and John Mulaney will reprise their curmudgeonly characters of Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland from this fall's smash hit Oh, Hello on Broadway.
At Tuesday's performance, Gavin Creel, Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce (Hello, Dolly!) will present the awards for best presentation and best bonnet design to the top fundraisers from the preceding six weeks. Christine Ebersole and Patti LuPone (War Paint) will introduce the competition's judges.
More than 150 Broadway actors and dancers will come together to celebrate the theatre community's fundraising efforts at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street, New York City), home to Disney's The Lion King. Performances will be at 4:30 pm on April 24 and 2 pm on April 25.
Shows scheduled to perform original numbers include Avenue Q; A Bronx Tale The Musical; Cats; Chicago; Dear Evan Hansen; Kinky Boots; The Lion King; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812;Sunset Boulevard and Wicked. A unique parade of bonnets will honor The Price, Sunday in the Park with George and Waitress. The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong will make a special appearance. And there will be numbers honoring national touring productions and Broadway Cares' fundraising volunteers, affectionately known as the Bucket Brigade. The Lion King's L. Steven Taylor will perform Easter Bonnet Competition's stirring anthem, "Help Is on the Way." Performers and shows subject to change.
A panel of distinguished judges will award best presentation honors at Tuesday's performance. This year's judges are music director Kristen Blodgette (Sunset Boulevard); Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada (Miss Saigon); Kate Burton and Kristine Nielsen (Present Laughter); Ed Dixon (Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose); and costume designer Catherine Zuber (Oslo, War Paint). Also joining the panel are Lee Perlman and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by bidding on exclusive VIP packages at the 30th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.
Cast, crews and volunteers have been standing with Broadway Cares' signature red buckets in hand at theatre exits of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring shows to accept donations for the past six weeks. Easter Bonnet Competition is a celebration of the tireless efforts of theatrical companies and volunteers who raise money for the most vulnerable among us. The donations become grants that provide lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
A limited number of tickets, starting at at $30, are still available. They can be purchased at broadwaycares.org.
Since 1987, the 30 editions of the Easter Bonnet Competition have raised more than $68.8 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Easter Bonnet Competition is sponsored by The New York Times and United Airlines.
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 BC/EFA has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative and the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC.