Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS presented the first part of the 21st Annual Easter Bonnet Competition on Monday, April 23 (4:30 PM), with the second part to follow on Tuesday, April 24 (2 PM) at the Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street). Both evenings benefit BC/EFA.
The Easter Bonnet Competition, the two-day Broadway spectacular that features the companies of more than 20 Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions singing, dancing, and donning specially created Easter bonnets, has become an annual Broadway tradition. This year's hosts include: Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde), Todd Buonopane (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Hugh Dancy (Journey's End), Paige Davis (Chicago), Jared Gertner (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening), Edward Hibbert (Curtains), Amy Irving (The Coast of Utopia), Ron Kunene (The Lion King), Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins), Tshidi Manye (The Lion King), Lea Michele (Spring Awakening), Patrick Page (The Lion King), Christine Pedi (Talk Radio), Seth Rudetsky (Legally Blonde), and Karen Ziemba (Curtains). This year's judges include: Stephanie J. Block (The Pirate Queen), John Connolly (Executive Director of Actors' Equity Association), Joan Didion (Author of The Year of Magical Thinking), Tom Jones (Lyricist of 110 In The Shade and The Fantasticks), Baayork Lee (A Chorus Line), Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago), and Richard M. Sherman (composer of Mary Poppins).
The Easter Bonnet Competition is the culmination of six intensive weeks of fundraising efforts by Broadway and Off-Broadway company members as well as numerous productions currently on national tour. Curtain speeches, autographed poster and program sales, auctions, and cabaret performances bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars from audiences prior to the competition. The winner of the competition will be the company that raises the largest amount of money for BC/EFA. A second award is granted to the company with the best bonnet design and presentation. Awards are also presented to the Broadway Play, National Tour and Off-Broadway production raising the most money for BC/EFA.
Tickets prices are as follows: $350 VIP Orchestra (front and center); $200 Priority Orchestra (Center); $100 Middle Center and Side Orchestra; $40 Rear Center and Side Orchestra; $20 Rear Side Orchestra and Mezzanine. Tickets are available now at www.broadwaycares.org or by calling (212) 840-0770 Ext. 268.
Spelling Bee Boys - Todd Buonopane and Jared Gertner
The Drowsy Chaperone stars Stacia Fernandez, JoAnn Worley, Jennifer Smith with lyricist Lisa Lambert
Mary Poppins stars Gavin Lee and Ashley Brown
The Producers' Erin Gunhus and The Drowsy Chaperone's Jennifer Smith
The Drowsy Chaperone "new kids" John Glover and Joanne Worley
Barrett Foa, Cheyenne Jackson and chorus boys
Cheyenne Jackson and Julia Murney
Cheyenne Jackson and Julia Murney
Hairspray cast member
The cast of Hairspray
Cast of The Drowsy Chaperone onstage
Julia Murney and Lisa Brescia (Wicked Elphaba standby)
Lisa Brescia and Katie Adams (Glinda standby)
Wicked cast rehearses
The Phantom of the Opera's Anne Runolfsson with daughter Tess Adams, who is one of the actresses playing Young Cosette in Les Miserables
The Color Purple cast members
Women of Spamalot
Gavin Lee and Ashley Brown
Urinetown's Jennifer Cody and Don Richard