Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has announced performers, judges and special guests for the 2023 Easter Bonnet Competition. The 34th annual presentation will take place at the Minskoff Theatre on April 24 and 25, following a four-year pandemic-induced hiatus.
Traditionally, the Easter Bonnet ceremony includes songs, skits and a fashion show of hand-crafted Easter bonnets inspired by productions that participate in Broadway Cares’ six-week spring fundraising season.
Broadway shows scheduled to perform include “Bad Cinderella,” “A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical,” “Chicago,” “Hamilton,” “Kimberly Akimbo,” “The Lion King,” “Parade,” the recently closed “Phantom of the Opera,” “SIX” and “Some Like It Hot.” Several Off-Broadway shows and Broadway Cares affiliate organizations are also scheduled to appear.
Bonnie Milligan will sing the longtime Easter Bonnet Competition closing anthem, “Help Is on the Way” by David Friedman.
Hosts for this year’s event include Christian Borle, J. Harrison Ghee, Victoria Clark, Micaela Diamond, Ben Platt, Bongi Duma, Lindiwe Dlamini, Kimberly Marable, Stark Sands, Will Swenson and the current queens of “SIX”: Bella Coppola, Leandra Ellis-Gaston, Zoe Jensen, Taylor Imán Jones, Nasia Thomas and Hailee Kaleem Wright.
At the April 25 presentation, Annaleigh Ashford, Jessica Chastain, Josh Groban and Lea Michele will announce the total dollar amount raised by shows and supporters, as well as the winners of the top fundraising and best bonnet design prizes. Carolee Carmello, Arian Moayed and Brandon Uranowitz will also be on hand at Tuesday’s performance to introduce the judges.
This year’s judging panel includes Broadway producer and Broadway Cares trustee Barry Brown, Kevin Cahoon and Caroline Innerbichler of “Shucked,” Wayne Cilento of “Bob Fosse’s Dancin’,” Jordan Dobson and Linedy Genao of “Bad Cinderella,” Tovah Feldshuh of “Funny Girl,” Elijah Rhea Johnson of “MJ” and Paulo Szot of “& Juliet.”
The 2023 Easter Bonnet Competition will be directed by Paul Smith. Ted Arthur will serve as music supervisor with Charles Gordon as orchestra coordinator. Sound design will be by Greg Reif with lighting design by Jessica Creager. Mahlon Kruse will provide production stage management. The opening number will be written and directed by Billy Hipkins with choreography by Alex Sanchez. The number representing national tours will be conceived and choreographed by Lainie Sakakura. Parsons Dance will also present a piece.
The Easter Bonnet will mark the end of the organization’s spring fundraising campaign, which began March 10 and will continue through April 23. Donations will support Broadway Cares’ National Grants Program, which provides meals, healthcare and additional resources for those in need.