The 18th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition

The 18th Annual EASTER BONNET Competition – presented once again at Disney’s beautiful New Amsterdam Theatre – raised a record-breaking $3,439,075 for BC/EFA in six week of fundraising. 44 shows participated in this fundraising success. 23 Broadway shows brought in a collective $2,694,372. 14 National Tours came in with $667,821 and 7 Off-Broadway shows raised a total $84,986 to make the truly grand total of $3,439,075. Last year’s BONNET competition raised $2,149,744.

Fundraising awards were presented to:

Fourth Runner-upGYPSY / $149,595
Third Runner-upWICKED / $158,496
Second Runner-upHAIRSPRAY / $217,813
First Runner-upTHE PRODUCERS / $368,050
Top Fundraising AwardTHE BOY FROM OZ / $539,058*

*It must be acknowledged that in just the first six months of their run, the company of THE BOY FROM OZ has raised $1,172,056 for BC/EFA (GYPSY OF THE YEAR / $632,998 + EASTER BONNET / $539,058.) This is an unprecented total for this amount of time. Thank you!!!

Finally, although there was not a fifth runner-up award on stage, our bonnets go off to the Broadway company of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA which raised $123,633 – from audience appeals, as well as signing and selling 2,200 posters at $40 a pop.

Additional fundraising prizes were given to the Broadway play that raised the most money – GOLDA’S BALCONY / $78,654; the Off-Broadway production that raised the most money – FAME / $21,882; and the national tour that brought in the most funds – MAMMA MIA / $151,829.

Best bonnet presentation was awarded to Avenue Q and Fiddler on the Roof, who joined forces to present a skit entitled “Avenue Jew.” The Producers was awarded second prize in this category for its skit about gay marriage, which included a parody of Stephen Sondheim’s “Getting Married Today.” Thoroughly Modern Millie won third prize in the bonnet presentation category for a moving performance entitled “Letters from Home” which incorporated thank you letters from Actors’ Fund clients and beneficiaries from BC/EFA’s National Grants Program.

The afternoon included guest hosts Bernadette Peters, Joel Grey, Ann Harada, Tovah Feldshuh, Randy Graff, Joe Machota, Michael Mulheren, John Tartaglia (and Rod!!), Christopher Sieber, Ron Kunene and Tsidii Manye. Harvey Fierstein, Audra McDonald and Sean Combs announced the winners after Wicked‘s Idina Menzel belted out the David Friedman anthem “Help Is On the Way.”

Of course, the highlight of the show was the appearance of 100 year old Doris Eaton Travis who conga’ed with our 20 opening number dancers.

BC/EFA is blessed to be a part of such an extraordinary theatrical family. And on behalf of the thousands of clients at The Actors’ Fund and hundreds of social service agencies across the country whose essential work will be supported by the funds raised, a very special thanks to all who make these efforts possible.