Easter Bonnet Competition Breaks Records for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

by Michael Eddy
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Broadway’s best shared playful parodies, stirred emotions, and delivered dance-driven delights at the 31st annual Easter Bonnet Competition, which raised a record-shattering $6,379,572 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. It’s the single highest fundraising total in Broadway Cares history.

Further information from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (broadwaycares.org)

The staggering number, raised by 57 Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring productions, was announced Tuesday, April 25, 2017, breaks last year’s record-setter of $5,528,568. This year’s Easter Bonnet Competition (#BroadwayBonnets) was presented April 24 and 25 at the Minskoff Theatre, home to Disney's The Lion King. The production featured performances and 20 exquisite, handmade bonnets, created and presented by some of Broadway and Off-Broadway’s most popular shows.

This year’s top overall fundraising award went to Glenn Close and the company of Sunset Boulevard, which raised a jaw-dropping $509,246. Since the Easter Bonnet Competition began in 1987, the event has raised $75.2 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The Easter Bonnet Competition is the culmination of six weeks of spring fundraising efforts by company members of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions. Casts, crews and volunteers at participating shows stood with Broadway Cares’ signature red buckets in hand at theatre exits to accept donations, in addition to selling signed Playbills, posters and other memorabilia. The donations become grants to social service agencies that provide lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency assistance in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

The Easter Bonnet Competition was directed by Bess Marie Glorioso with Arabella Powell serving as production stage manager, leading a team of 10 expert stage managers. Ben Cohn was music supervisor. Lighting design was by Catherine Clark and sound design by Alain Van Achte and Greg Reif.

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 more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states.

For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at broadwaycares.org, at facebook.com/BCEFA, at instagram.com/BCEFA, at twitter.com/BCEFA and at youtube.com/BCEFA.