BROADWAY CARES / EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS COMPETITION
Stars from some of the most popular shows on Broadway, including Angels in America, The Band’s Visit, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hello, Dolly!, The Lion King, Mean Girls, Once on This Island and SpongeBob SquarePants, will make special appearances at the 32nd annual Easter Bonnet Competition on Monday, April 23, at 4:30 pm and Tuesday, April 24, at 2 pm.
The Easter Bonnet Competition (#broadwaybonnets) will feature appearances by John Cariani and Ari’el Stachel (The Band’s Visit); Lilli Cooper, Gavin Lee and Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants); Bongi Duma and Tshidi Manye (The Lion King); Adam Heller, Evan Pappas and Cheryl Stern (A Letter to Harvey Milk); Erika Henningsen and Taylor Louderman (Mean Girls); Patti Murin (Frozen), Lea Salonga (Once on This Island) and Taylor Trensch (Dear Evan Hansen).
The winners of top fundraiser, best presentation and best bonnet design, as well as the much-anticipated fundraising total, will be announced Tuesday by Victor Garber and Bernadette Peters (Hello, Dolly!) and Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane (Angels in America).
The two performances, produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, celebrate the culmination of six weeks of fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway and nationally touring productions. Cast, crews and volunteers have been standing with Broadway Cares’ signature #redbuckets in hand at theatre exits accepting donations. The donations become grants that provide lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
This year’s show at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre, home to Disney’s The Lion King, will feature more than 200 Broadway and Off-Broadway singers and dancers.
Shows scheduled to present songs, skits or dances and stunning handcrafted bonnets include Avenue Q, The Band’s Visit, A Bronx Tale The Musical, Chicago, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Escape to Margaritaville, Hamilton, Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly, Kinky Boots, A Letter to Harvey Milk, The Lion King, School of Rock - The Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants, Waitress and Wicked. Caleb Teicher & Company is also is set to perform, representing Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Hailey Kilgore (Once on This Island) will perform David Friedman’s “Help Is on the Way,” the longtime Easter Bonnet Competition closing anthem.
A panel of distinguished judges will determine best presentation honors at Tuesday's performance. This year's judges are Zach Adkins and Christy Altomare from Anastasia; Major Attaway from Aladdin; Alison Luff and Paul Alexander Nolan from Escape to Margaritaville; Ashley Park and Kate Rockwell from Mean Girls; and Charlie Stemp from Hello, Dolly!. Also joining the panel are Nicole LaFountaine and Gracie Miller, who won their judging spots by bidding on exclusive VIP packages at the 31st Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.
Performing shows and special guests are subject to change.
The opening number will be written and directed by Billy Hipkins and co-directed and choreographed by James Kinney. The incredible fundraising effort of national tours across the country will be represented in a number directed and choreographed by Richard J. Hinds. Broadway Cares’ affiliate organizations Broadway Green Alliance, Broadway Serves and R.Evolución Latina will be honored in a number directed and choreographed by Luis Salgado.
A limited number of tickets, starting at $30, are available. They can be purchased at broadwaycares.org.
Easter Bonnet Competition will be directed by Kristin Newhouse with Arabella Powell serving as production stage manager, Ben Cohn as music supervisor, Ted Arthur as music director and Charles Gordon as orchestra coordinator. Sound design is by Alain Van Achte; lighting design is by Timothy Reed.
Since 1987, the 31 editions of the Easter Bonnet Competition have raised more than $75.2 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 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with HIV/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.