The Easter Bonnet Competition, hosted by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, rallied theater members to perform energetic skits and intricate dances and don uniquely crafted bonnets to celebrate the $3,601,335 raised in recent weeks for meals, lifesaving medication, health care and more for those in need.
The Easter Bonnet Competition is the culmination of six weeks of spring fundraising on behalf of company members of 42 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions. The 34th edition of the production featured one-of-a-kind performances and 17 handcrafted bonnets for its big return after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, according to an article on Broadway Cares.org.
Watch highlights from the Easter Bonnet show in the video at the top of this article. Below is the performance from the cast of The Lion King:
Actors Josh Groban, Jessica Chastain, Annaleigh Ashford and Lea Michele announced the awards, including the winner for best bonnet design, as well as the total amounts raised by shows and the top fundraisers.
The team from & Juliet raised the most funds this year: $231,536. Chicago took home the award for best bonnet design, which was created by Patrick Rinn and the Chicago wardrobe department to honor the closing of The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show on Broadway, while acknowledging the passing of the torch to Chicago as the new longest-running show. The cast of The Lion King received the award for best presentation. For a full list of winners, runners-up and acknowledgements, click here.
“To see this level of excitement from old friends at long-running productions and new friends from this season’s smash hits reminds us all of the joy we share when everyone comes together in community,” Broadway Cares executive director Tom Viola said in the Broadway Cares article. “Every year we marvel at this beautiful ecosystem keeping performers insured, healthy and treated with dignity and respect in times of crisis while also providing vital social services for those most in need across the country.”
Broadway Cares is gearing up for upcoming events this spring and summer that will raise money to help the nonprofit provide lifesaving health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance to those in need throughout the country as well as Puerto Rico.
Broadway Bets, Broadway’s official poker tournament, returns on May 22 for the first time in four years. Tickets are on sale now—participants join the likes of Broadway stars, industry leaders and theater fans for a Texas Hold ’em tournament. Players who reach the final table will receive prizes, and the winner will receive the coveted title of Broadway Bets champion. The tournament has raised $1.2 million over five years. Get tickets here for the chance to go all in and win big.
Broadway Bares will kick off Pride Week in New York City on June 18 with two evening performances at Hammerstein Ballroom featuring more than 150 of the city’s best dancers. Last year’s 30th anniversary event raised $1.9 million. Get tickets here to attend the modern-day burlesque production that embraces “community, unity and nudity,” or donate to the Broadway Bares Stripathon.
The Fire Island Dance Festival, the longest-running charitable event of the Fire Island summer, returns this year with three performances from July 14 to 16. With the stunning Great South Bay as a backdrop, established and emerging choreographers and companies will perform throughout the weekend to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Since its debut in 1995, the Fire Island Dance Festival has raised more than $7.7 million.
For a full list of upcoming Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS events, click here.