Easter Bonnet

Broadway Legend
Easter Bonnet
Posted: 4/22/14 at 05:50pm
Did anyone go this year? I'd love to hear about it!
Easter Bonnet
Posted: 4/22/14 at 06:11pm
Was there yesterday and had a great time. It was my first time attending, but I've been hearing about it for a while and was intrigued. There were some really great skits and a few Broadway leads of the moment (Andy Karl, Jessie Mueller, Bryce Pinkham, etc.) who introduced the skits.

My favorite was a one-man dance/movement piece. The performer was wearing a giant piece of fabric that stretched high above him and moved like a wave. He was controlling it so gracefully. The sounds of the ocean played as he transformed the shape of the wave, letting it crash over him and then cresting again. Really beautiful.

As far as the others go, there were lots of "insider" jokes about the union contracts for touring productions and life in the theater. Avenue Q did a song about Bobby Lopez winning the EGOT, two little boys from Newsies did an Abbott and Costello "who's on first" routine, and cast members from After Midnight dancing to Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" to name a few. Some really fun stuff. Since it was the first performance, no totals were announced and there weren't too many big Broadway names, but it was still a great event.
Broadway Star
Easter Bonnet
Posted: 4/23/14 at 09:46am
Not enough shows participated IMHO. Seems like more did so in previous years.

Still, overall, a wonderful show as always. But I missed the moment of silence for AIDS victims as well as the sublimely cutting remarks of Officer Lockstock and Little Sally. I have a feeling they're gone forever, like Jane White and Jane Black at the end of THE THREE FACES OF EVE.

I was looking forward to Hugh Panaro's singing the "Help is On the Way" anthem, but he didn't appear. Disappointing.

Updated On: 4/23/14 at 09:46 AM
Broadway Star
Easter Bonnet
Posted: 4/23/14 at 04:22pm
Been wanting to attend for the last couple of years and last minute stuff keeps popping up preventing me from going (This year I got called in to work). Anyway, is it the same show on the 2 days or is it different Monday and Tuesday? Thanks for any info.
Easter Bonnet
Posted: 4/23/14 at 04:26pm
April 22nd, The Minksoff Theatre, current home to Disney's The Lion King, was packed as the audience cheered a show filled with song, dance, comedy & 18 elaborate, creative, custom-made bonnets.

The generosity of theatre fans during 6 wks of fundraising by 57 Bway, Off-Bway & national touring co's helped push the 28th Easter Bonnet Competition to another record high, raising $4,532,129 following the finale.

Since the Easter Bonnet Competition began in '87, the event has raised more than $58 million for Bway Cares. Last yr's event raised $4,250,542.

The co. of THE LION KING won best presentation for their uproarious take-off of their own frequently winning routines, this time featuring "2 White Guys" from their show (1 tiny & the other quite large) aerobically dancing to Frank Stallone's "Far from Over." AFTER MIDNIGHT took runner-up honors for a # set in a speakeasy w/flappers, gentlemen callers & lounge singers who delivered a steamy, jazz-infused take on Beyonce's "Crazy in Love."

The special award for bonnet design was given to the co. of ONCE for its lit-up logo bonnet which included kazoos, created by Becky Bodurtha.

Bway's biggest names this season served as hosts for show, including Andy Karl & Jessie Mueller, Jefferson Mays, Cass Morgan, Christopher Sieber & Karen Ziemba. The judges were introduced by the stars of OF MICE & MEN: James Franco & Chris O'Dowd.

This yr's Easter Bonnet Competition proved to be a stunning celebration of this yr's fundraising efforts. Participating shows ask audience members for donations as they exit the theatre & often sell autographed posters, Playbills & other unique, show-specific keepsakes to help raise money. This yr's top fundraisers were: MUSICALS Kinky Boots - $284,170; 1st Runner-up: Beautiful - $208,697; 2nd Runner-up: Cinderella - $206,941; 3rd Runner-up: The Book of Mormon - $181,065; PLAYS All the Way - $186,424; 1st Runner-up: Mothers & Sons - $100,102; TOURS: Book of Mormon – Latter Day Co. - $405,009; 1st Runner-up: Wicked – Munchkinland - $277,109; 2nd Runner-up: Book of Mormon – Jumamosi Co. - $209,023 3d Runner-up: Wicked – Emerald City - $182,704; Off-Bway: Ave. Q - $28,577; 1st Runner-up: Heathers - $24,363

• This yr's original opening number, directed & choreographed by Al Blackstone w/music dir. by Ben Cohn & lyrics by Vanessa Brown, featured Rory O'Malley making a deal w/devil, played by NY Post theatre writer Michael Reidel. Reidel promised O'Malley "Bway's greatest award" – the coveted Easter Bonnet Competition winner's trophy – but only if he completed an exhaustive scavenger hunt for unique memorabilia snatched from all of Bway's shows. Unfortunately, it was so strong - the rest of the show suffered a bit from not living up to it. The humor was spot on (it also seemed to be the only place for the famed snarky insider jokes - this yr. aimed at John Travolta just wanting a man) & the excitement of the audience roar at the end was pretty amazing!

• The youngest stars of Disney's NEWSIES, Luca Padovan & Zachary Unger, offered a spot-on Bway version of the legendary Abbott & Costello act "Who's on First?"

• With an intro by playwright Terence McNally & surprise appearance by Tyne Daly, the other 3 cast members of MOTHERS & SONS shared a glimpse into the 1st run-through of a comedic sketch about 2 gay fathers attempting to raise their son to be gay among the Bway culture. The joke about Kevin Spacey being able to pull off "straight" was quite funny.

• Former Soap opera actress Kim Zimmer, who recently finished 15 months on the road w/WICKED, helped whining tour performers appreciate life on the road in a fun send-up of AVE. Q's "It Sucks to Be Me," nicely directed & choreographed by Adam Fleming & written by Tim FitzGerald.

• 8 cast members from CINDERELLA danced to Air Supply's "I'll Find You" in memory of those who are no longer with us. Joe Carroll sang, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar w/Jeffrey Pew on piano. The piece featured pairs of dancers w/a fedora until – in true Cinderella fashion – it transformed into a BC/EFA collection bucket.

• A visually stunning performance of "Man Fan" by MOMIX continues the variety spectacle that in past yrs has also featured other novelties. ASTEP shed light on its mission to connect artists w/youth in a piece performed nicely by Nathan Madden & Phoebe Pearl. The Easter Bonnet Competition also featured special bonnets by BC/EFA's affiliate orgs: Broadway Green Alliance, Broadway Impact, R. Evolución Latina & Broadway Serves.

• Other shows repped included Bway's MAMMA MIA! in a rather confusing number about the Broadhurst Theatres many steps, ONCE prod. assistants in a rather offensive take on audition hell & Off-Bway's AVE. Q doing a funny/well sung Les Miz parody. Not so good were presentations by IF/THEN (a rather angry "Straight Dance" featuring 2 & a mattress), KINKY BOOTS (a tacky solo reading), DISASTER! (w/Judy Gold, Seth Rudetsky & a glorified hat-wearing moment to parade out his adopted kids) & MURDER FOR 2 in an altogether mess of a presentation.

• In a special tribute to BC/EFA Producing Dir. Michael Graziano, Sutton Foster joined Exec. Dir. Tom Viola to honor Graziano & the extraordinary work, commitment, passion & creativity he's shared with Bway Cares & the entire theatre community for the past 20 yrs. Graziano is leaving the org. at the end of the summer.

The Easter Bonnet judges were costume designer Gregg Barnes & actors Christopher Hanke, Carly Rae Jepsen, Michael McKean, Jim Norton, Patrick Page, Annie Potts & Anthony Rapp.

Jeremy Stolle from THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA performed David Friedman's "Help is on the Way," BC/EFA's traditional Easter Bonnet finale, in a less than masterful performance with no mention of why Hugh Panaro who was billed to have been there, was not.

Bryan Cranston, Fran Drescher, Idina Menzel & Denzel Washington presented awards to the co's who raised the most for Bway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, as well as the winners for most outstanding bonnet design & presentation. Fran Drescher was hilarious taking the stage in tight blue dress without a modicum of humble pie alongside the other celebrities - but Bryan & Denzel keeping it light seemed to not have any trouble with it - only Idina seemed to bristle with frustration & angst regarding a perceived lack of 'getting on with' the delivery of the awards & figures.

This yr's Easter Bonnet Competition was dir. for the 8th time by Kristin Newhouse, w/music supervision by Ben Cohen, sound design by Alain Van Achte & lighting design by Martin E. Vreeland. Jason Trubitt served as prod. stage mgr.

Updated On: 4/24/14 at 04:26 PM
Easter Bonnet
Posted: 4/23/14 at 04:29pm
I went to the Monday show. My friend went to both. She told me that it's the same performances for both days. The only difference is that the judges are there the second day and announce the winners.
Broadway Star
Easter Bonnet
Posted: 4/24/14 at 11:31am
Thank you for the info.