On April 23, 2013, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS held its annual fundraiser, The Easter Bonnet Competition, in which various shows (cast & crew) get together to try and outdo each other in the design of the most creative, outlandish headwear. The entries are presented on two days in April with comedy and musical skits accompanying the parade of "bonnets." Awards are presented on the second day, as judged by a celebrated panel. The proceeds from ongoing show fundraising efforts, and ticket proceeds from the competition all go to the organizations efforts to provide for those in need in the NY theater community.
The judges for the 2013 competition, as described by the Broadway Cares website were "two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes, choreographer Josh Bergasse, Grammy Award nominee Deborah Cox, Tony winner Cady Huffman, Jujamcyn Theaters' executive vice president Paul Libin (who also is president of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' Board of Trustees), Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis, Emmy winner Holland Taylor and Michael Urie. Also joining the judging panel were Hollis Stern and Peg Wendlandt, who won their spots by being high bidders on exclusive VIP packages at the 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September."
An all-star roster of hosts and presenters provided additional entertainment. I loved seeing Katie Finneran ("Annie"); Billy Porter ("Kinky Boots"); Nathan Lane ("The Nance"); Andrea Martin ("Pippin"); Christopher McDonald & Peter Scolari ("Lucky Guy") and the amazing trio of Harvey Fierstein, Cyndi Lauper and Tom Hanks! The audience also included recognizable faces, including Judith Light, Delia Ephron (cheering on the cast of her sister Nora's final play "Lucky Guy"), and producer Daryl Roth ("Kinky Boots," "Lucky Guy," "Annie").
The event was held at the Minskoff Theatre (home of "The Lion King"), and you can watch the highlights below:
Tom Hanks, Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein announced the winners.
The grand total raised from this year's event: $4,250, 542 broke the previous record of $3,734,129 set in 2007.
Harvey Fierstein and Lilla Crawford ("Annie") greet fans at the stage door after the event.