Produced by and Benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Preview by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited
A spectacular showcase of Broadway’s best performers and beautiful, handcrafted bonnets will celebrate six weeks of fundraising when the 31st annual Easter Bonnet Competition (#BroadwayBonnets) returns Monday, April 24, and Tuesday, April 25, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Performers from Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies will share unforgettable original skits, songs and dances, as well as their unique bonnet designs, for two delightful afternoons at the Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street, New York City), home to Disney’s The Lion King. Performances begin at 4:30 pm April 24 and 2 pm April 25. Awards will be presented to the best presentation and best bonnet design across both performances and top fundraisers from the preceding six weeks.
Starting tonight, casts, crews and volunteers at Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions around the country will take their place at theatre exits to accept donations with Broadway Cares’ iconic red buckets in hand. Theatre enthusiasts on both sides of the bucket will have the opportunity to raise money for the most vulnerable among us, helping provide lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance. Audiences will have the opportunity to purchase autographed memorabilia and exclusive experiences in exchange for a donation at many of the shows.
Nine Broadway shows are scheduled to begin their appeals tonight: Aladdin; The Book of Mormon; Cats; The Lion King; Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812; Paramour; School of Rock – The Musical; Sunset Boulevard and Wicked. Next week, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, In Transit, Kinky Boots, On Your Feet!, The Phantom of the Opera and Significant Other join in the fundraising efforts. More shows will be added throughout the six-week campaign. Last year, 58 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national tours raised $5.5 million during the Easter Bonnet Competition fundraising.
This year’s special guests and celebrity judges at the April 24 and 25 performances will be announced later this spring.
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.
For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at broadwaycares.org, at facebook.com/BCEFA, at instagram.com/BCEFA, at twitter.com/BCEFA and at youtube.com/BCEFA.
Advance tickets to Easter Bonnet Competition can now be purchased online at broadwaycares.org or by calling 212.840.0770, ext. 229. VIP and Priority tickets are $375 and $250, respectively, and other tickets are available at $130, $50 and $30.