I wish I were going to be in New York City for Easter. If I were there, I would spend two more days in the city so that I could attend the 25th EASTER BONNET COMPETITION for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.
The two-day event will be held April 25 at 4:30 pm and April 26 at 2 pm. It will be presented at the Minskoff Theatre which is currently is the home of Disney’s The Lion King.
I would love to see the different Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions as they perform their special skits, songs and dances. The highlight of the show is the presentation of their unique Easter bonnet that is created specially for the event.
Last year, the EASTER BONNET COMPETITION raised $3,265,700. Each company has six weeks to put on an extensive fundraising drive. Some of the shows offer pictures with stars, a walk-on role, or drinks with the cast. Others rely on the generosity of their audiences and just ask for donations. Since 1987, the 24 editions of this highly anticipated annual event have brought in more than $42 million.
Last February, I had the opportunity to visit the office of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. I had already been a supporter of the organization, but after learning more about their work and meeting so many caring individuals, I am now a huge fan of the charity. Everyone at the office, from Tom Viola, the Executive Director, to Skip Lawing who I spoke to on the phone, treated me as a special guest and stopped to chat. A special thanks to Dan Perry who was my guide for the day. To the left is the ad that CANN put in the Playbill program for Broadway Backwards. Remember, you can click on the picture to see it better.
According to their website:
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 BC/EFA has raised over $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
BC/EFA is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors Fund, including The HIV/AIDS Initiative, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, The Actors Fund Work Program, The Dancers’ Resource, The Stage Managers’ Project and three supportive housing residences.
BC/EFA also awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide.
I remember learning about BC/EFA in 2008. Clay Aiken was in the middle of his run in Spamalot and worked hard to earn money for the event. I remember seeing the line-up of fans that donated money to have their pictures taken with Clay and the other cast members. Clay let his fans know he wanted Spamalot to win, but ..2nd place seems to be Clay’s spot! The competition raised a record 3.7 million dollars that year.
I found the following video of the 2008 EASTER BONNET COMPETITION on YouTube. In all the fun and excitement, the vocals really do stand out!!