Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Raises Over $4 Million
In the Broadway community, spring is signaled by one event:
the annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition. For the last six weeks, the companies of Broadway, off-Broadway and Broadway national tours have been raising money for the foundation so it can help men and women of the theater community in need. Yesterday, their efforts came together at the Minskoff Theatre in Times Square.
In the most basic sense, the Easter Bonnet Competition is a talent show. Except, let’s be honest, major Broadway names mean that these weren’t your average song-and-dance “skits.” The cast of
On the Town performed a hilarious version of the Miss Turnstiles dance, led by Allison Guinn (as Lucy Schmeeler) and “So You Think You Can Dance” winner Ricky Ubeda, that took the dream sequence to a whole other level. Avenue Q rewrote The Lion King‘s “Circle of Life” for its famous puppets, with silly lyrics. (To my delight, it included a reference to Titus Andromedon’s “Pinot Noir” song from the Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Titus Burgess himself, the actor behind Titus Andromedon, also sang later in the Easter Bonnet performance.) And Al Blackstone choreographed a tongue-in-cheek Dancers Responding to AIDS number for former Newsies dancers (and twins!) Jacob and David Guzman. Each entry featured what else but a homemade Easter bonnet, a tradition since the competition’s first show in 1987.
The star judges for the event included Christopher Wheeldon and Robert Fairchild, who are currently both making their Broadway debuts—one as a director, the other as an actor—in
An American in Paris. They, along with the other judges, gave the best performance prize to Avenue Q for its Lion King spoof. The best part about the show? All of this was to celebrate the loads of money Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS raised in just a month and a half. The grand total came to a stunning $4,711,386.
Bravo to all the performers and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for their fantastic work!