Today i got to leave work in the afternoon and go to the 22nd Annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition. Yay! For those who don't know, Broadway, Off-Broadway and National touring shows raise money for 6 weeks in the spring for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and then they come together and put on a big show in which Broadway casts do funny skits and create elaborate Easter bonnet hats to represent their shows. At the end of the show they give out prizes for best bonnet presentation and acknowledge the shows who raised the most money.
The show this afternoon was very funny and well performed throughout. The banter between acts was more barbed than i thought it would be! Roger Bart, Megan Mullally, Nathan Lane and a tag team of Urinetown's Office LockStock and Sally all had plenty of zingers ready. Throughout the show there were some insightful and playful shots fired from cast to cast. Grease and Young Frankenstein especially got a good drubbing by the other shows. Besides being very fun, Easter Bonnet was also very very long! 2 and a half hours with no intermission. I know, I know. All the LOTR movies were longer and i had no problem sitting through them. But still i'd have loved a few minutes to catch my breath and stretch my legs in the middle of this. I will attach a link that has the specifics of who won and who the highlights were (Sunday In The Park With George, Lion King, Naked Boys Singing and In The Heights really stood out among all the presentations - there was also this amazing dancer from Momix and i swear she spun around for 5 minutes straight in an amazing costume, it was absurdly beautiful. Also some of the contestants of Project Runway showed up during the opening number which was a spoof of Project Runway). It was a really nice event and I was very glad that I got a chance to attend. There were some occasional sound issues, especially when In The Heights was going on. I wouldn't put it past those two little girls from "George" to have tampered with the equipment in an attempt to secure their win. Those two little girls are very talented and got three encore bows following a standing ovation for their amazing skit, but i suspect they could be pretty ruthless if they were feeling threatened by Heights!
It has to be very difficult to put something so huge like that together (with so many people involved in each number, so many different mics, barely any tech or rehearsal time in the space) and then everyone had to run off to their respective theaters to prepare for an evening performances of their usual night jobs. PLUS they performed the Easter Bonnet on Monday too which is normally their only day off all week. So I tip my bonnet to all who participated and contributed behind the scenes. And to everyone who gave money. It's an important charity and it was nice to see a community come together to make a difference.