Theater News

2015 Broadway Cares Easter Bonnet Competition Raises Record Amount

Six weeks of fundraising culminated in a gratifying pair of performances.

Six weeks of fundraising raised a record $4,711,386 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Six weeks of fundraising raised a record $4,711,386 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
(© Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS)

The 29th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition raised a remarkable $4,711,386, making this the third year in a row the event set a new fundraising record.

The grand total was announced Tuesday, April 21, by four of this season’s brightest stars: Andy Karl (On the Twentieth Century), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Helen Mirren (The Audience), and Matthew Morrison (Finding Neverland).

The news was revealed after two days of Easter Bonnet Competition performances, which honored the fundraising efforts of 52 Broadway, off-Broadway, and national touring productions in song, dance, comedy, and 18 ornate, handmade bonnets.

More than 200 of Broadway and off-Broadway's most talented performers took part in this year’s show, which was once again held at the Minskoff Theatre, home to Disney’s The Lion King.

The company of Jersey Boys took top design honors for its shimmering crystal- and LED-covered bonnet, created by Ricky Yates.

Winning the best presentation award was the company of Avenue Q, which lamented The Lion King's perennial status as the winner of the presentation award. In "Bonnet of Life," the Avenue Q cast delivered a sidesplitting parody of the long-running Disney hit's signature number "Circle of Life."

Runner-up honors went to Jersey Boys, featuring current and alumni cast members who showed what happened when the legendary show went global. The company delivered amusing international versions of the show’s hits as performed by a mariachi band, a German oompah band, a reggae quartet, and full-scale Bollywood production.