STAGE TUBE: BC/EFA's 2013 Easter Bonnet Competition Raises Over $4.2 Million - Highlights!
The 27th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition raised a staggering $4,250,542 - eclipsing the previous high of $3,734,129 set in 2007. The grand total was announced Tuesday after six weeks of intensive fundraising for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS by 47 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies.
Four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots), two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (Lucky Guy) and Grammy Award winner Cyndi Lauper (Kinky Boots) were on hand to announce the grand total at this year's Easter Bonnet Competition, which ended in two shows featuring original presentations, songs, dances and 19 intricate, custom-made bonnets.
Click below to watch highlights from the show!
With a standing-room-only audience filling the Minskoff Theatre, home to Disney's The Lion King, Fierstein, Hanks and Lauper also presented awards to the top fundraising companies and the outstanding bonnet presentation. Jessie Mueller from Nice Work If You Can Get It ended the show with a memorable and stirring rendition of the Easter Bonnet anthem, "Help is on the Way," written by David Friedman.
Since the Easter Bonnet Competition began in 1987, the event has raised more than $53 million for Broadway Cares. Last year's event raised $3,706,085.
This year's special guests included Reeve Carney (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Tony winner Victoria Clark (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella), Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), two-time Tony winner Katie Finneran (Annie), Shalita Grant (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Ann Harada (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella), Tony winner Harriet Harris (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella), Andy Karl (Jersey Boys), Ron Kunene (The Lion King), Tshidi Manye (The Lion King), three-time Tony nominee Marin Mazzie (Next to Normal), Christopher McDonald (Lucky Guy), Judy McLane (Mamma Mia!), Mark Nelson (My Name is Asher Lev),Christine Pedi (Chicago), Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Seth Rudetsky ("Seth's Big Fat Broadway" on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio) and three-time Emmy Award nominee Peter Scolari (Lucky Guy).
The company of Kinky Boots took top honors for best presentation while the bonnet number featuring the companies of Annie and Newsies was runner up.
There was a tie for the special award for bonnet design. The Lion King and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark shared the honors. The Lion King bonnet was designed by Ilya and Walter; Spider-Man's winning bonnet was created by Sonya Wysocki with Shannon McDowell, Mikey Piscitelli, Danny Mura, Kyle Stewart, Kyle O'Connor and Christel Murdock.
Easter Bonnet Competition, directed again this year by Kristin Newhouse, is the culmination of spring fundraising efforts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS by company members of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions. Participating shows ask audience members for donations as they exit the theatre and often sell autographed posters, Playbills and other unique, show-specific keepsakes to help raise money.
This year's top Broadway fundraising award went to Lucky Guy, which raised $301,549.
The Easter Bonnet judges included two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes (Kinky Boots), choreographer Josh Bergasse (NBC's Smash), Grammy Award nominee Deborah Cox and Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis (Jekyll and Hyde), Tony winner Cady Huffman (The Nance), Paul Libin, executive vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters and president of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' Board of Trustees, Emmy winner Holland Taylor (Ann) and Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar). Also joining the judging panel were Hollis Stern and Peg Wendlandt, who both won their spots by being high bidders on exclusive VIP packages at the 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.
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 $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and 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 Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.
For more information, visit Broadway Cares online at broadwaycares.org, Facebook at facebook.com/BCEFA, Twitter at twitter.com/BCEFA, and YouTube at youtube.com/BCEFAtv and Pinterest at pinterest.com/BCEFA.