30th Annual BC/EFA Easter Bonnet Competition Monday and Tuesday
By: Ellis Nassour
On the avenue, Broadway, the photographers will be snapping away and hearts will be beating fast as the special guest stars of the 30th Annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition help announce the results of the Spring fundraising drive. There are two ways to experience this always eagerly-looked-forward-to spectacular: Monday, April 25, at 4:30 P.M. and Tuesday, April 25, at 2.
The 2015-2016 theater season is roaring to a close. Award nominations are already the buzz. The season officially culminates with the Tony Awards, this year on June 12 at the Beacon Theatre.
The Easter Bonnet Competition will, thanks to the Nederlander Organization, again take over the Minskoff Theatre, home of Disney’s The Lion King.
Audiences will see spectacularly grand Easter bonnets with all the frills upon them created by the casts of dozens of shows in original production numbers that have often left everyone breathless. Then comes the drum roll as the celebrity judges hand over their ballots and the top fundraising shows are honored.
Finally, there’ll be gasps, as there always are, as the record-breaking tally of donations from thousands of audience members to support the massive outreach programs of BC/EFA is unveiled. And if you are there, you’ll be able to write a sonnet or a blog about the fabulous 2016 Easter Bonnet Competition. Snap up your seats now!
At this, the 30th annual competition, performers from Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies will showcase their talents in song, dance and comedy, topped off by outstandingly creative hand-designed bonnets.
Produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Easter Bonnet Competition celebrates six weeks of intensive fundraising efforts by dozens of theater companies. The iconic red buckets of Broadway Cares, carried by the loyal volunteer brigade, began appearing at theatre exits on March 11 and will be put away for several months [until the Gypsy of the Year Competition] after Sunday, April 24, performances.
Two dozen Broadway shows have had their stars make appeals from the stage: Aladdin, An American in Paris, Beautiful , The Book of Mormon, Bright Star, Chicago, The Color Purple, Crucible, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Disaster!, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Fun Home, Hamilton, The Humans, Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots, Les Misérables, The Lion King, Matilda, On Your Feet!, The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, She Loves Me, Something Rotten! and Wicked.
Video clip highlights of the 2015 Easter Bonnet:
Easter Bonnet 2016 – Broadway Cares
Off Broadway also plays a major role in the annual drives. This season Avenue Q, The Robber Bridegroom, Sheer Madness, and Trip of Love are among the shows participating.
Last year, 52 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions took part. Thanks to the generosity of audiences, the 2015 Easter Bonnet Competition tally was a mind-boggling $4,711,386. Since 1987, the spring season drives have brought in more than $63.3 million to support BC/EFA and The Actors Fund grants and local and national outreach and research programs.
The Easter Bonnet Competition is generously sponsored by The New York Times and United Airlines.
Tickets for the 2016 Easter Bonnet Competition are available now at www.broadwaycares.org. Choose from $375 VIP orchestra seats; $250
priority center orchestra; $130 side orchestra and front mezzanine; $50 rear side orchestra and middle mezzanine; and $30 rear mezzanine.