Idina Menzel, Denzel Washington, Bryan Cranston and Fran Drescher took the stage last Tuesday following the finale of two stunning Easter Bonnet Competition performances to announce the grand total of money raised this season for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Since it began in 1987, the annual event has raised more than $58 million for Broadway Cares. This year $4,532,129 was raised by 57 Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring companies. The Minskoff Theatre, home to Disney’s The Lion King, was packed for both performances which featured performances and 17 elaborate bonnets created by the companies of shows like Kinky Boots, Once, and Avenue Q. This year’s judges included Michael McKean, Carly Rae Jepson, Annie Potts and Anthony Rapp.
The company of The Lion King won best bonnet presentation. After Midnight took runner-up honors while the special award for bonnet design was given to the company of Once. James Franco, Christopher Sieber, Karen Ziemba, Leighton Meester, Tyne Daly and a variety of Broadway babies and veterans made special cameos and introductions throughout the presentation.
BC/EFA is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations and has raised more than $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
Photography by Daniel Roberts and Monica Simoes