The 27th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition raised a record-breaking $4,250,542 — surpassing the previous high of $3,734,129 set in 2007. The grand total was announced today after six weeks of post-performance by 47 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies.
Four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots), two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (Lucky Guy) and Grammy Award winner Cyndi Lauper (Kinky Boots) announced the total live at this year's Easter Bonnet Competition, which wrapped up with two shows featuring original presentations, songs, dances and 19 custom-made bonnets.
Since the Easter Bonnet Competition started in 1987, it has raised more than $53 million for Broadway Cares. Last year's event raised $3,706,085.
This year's special guests included Reeve Carney (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Tony winner Victoria Clark (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella), Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), two-time Tony winner Katie Finneran (Annie), Shalita Grant (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Ann Harada (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella), Tony winner Harriet Harris (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella), Andy Karl (Jersey Boys), Ron Kunene (The Lion King), Tshidi Manye (The Lion King), three-time Tony nominee Marin Mazzie (Next to Normal), Christopher McDonald (Lucky Guy), Judy McLane (Mamma Mia!), Mark Nelson (My Name is Asher Lev), Christine Pedi (Chicago), Billy Porter(Kinky Boots), Seth Rudetsky ("Seth's Big Fat Broadway" on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio) and three-time Emmy Award nominee Peter Scolari (Lucky Guy).
The judges were introduced by two-time Tony winner Nathan Lane (The Nance) and Tony winner Andrea Martin (Pippin).
The company of Kinky Boots took top honors for best presentation while the bonnet number featuring the companies of Annie and Newsies was runner up.
There was a tie for the special award for bonnet design. The Lion King and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark shared the honors.
This year's top Broadway fundraising award went to Lucky Guy, which raised $301,549.
Other winning fundraisers were:
Broadway First Runner-up: Wicked - $244,431 Second Runner-up: The Book of Mormon - $232,260 Third Runner-up: The Phantom of the Opera - $172,435
National Touring Shows Top Fundraiser: The Book of Mormon – Latter Day Company - $278,054 First Runner-up: Wicked - Munchkinland - $273,637 Second Runner-up: Wicked – Emerald City - $241,030 Third Runner-up: The Book of Mormon – Jumamosi - $188,621
Off-Broadway Top Fundraiser: Avenue Q - $33,426 First Runner-up: My Name is Asher Lev - $33,149
The Easter Bonnet judges included two-time Tony Award-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes (Kinky Boots), choreographer Josh Bergasse (Smash), Grammy Award nominee Deborah Cox and Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis (Jekyll & Hyde), Tony winner Cady Huffman (The Nance), Paul Libin, executive vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters and president of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' Board of Trustees, Emmy winner Holland Taylor (Ann) and Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar). Also joining the judging panel were Hollis Stern and Peg Wendlandt, who both won their spots by being high bidders on exclusive VIP packages at the 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.
The Easter Bonnet Competition is generously sponsored by The New York Times and United Airlines.
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 $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at broadwaycares.org.