The cast of the notorious Broadway smash hit Hamilton stole the spotlight on yet another stage! The 30th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition was held this past week in support for the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS foundation. This year’s competition raised a record breaking $5.5 million for the foundation. With Broadway shows in the spotlight of the media this year, it is no surprise that so much support has come through.
The 2016 show featured special performances from Stevie Nicks, over 230 actors, singers, and dancers; and presented two awards to Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton. The Hamilton troupe received acclaim after their rendition of the opening song ‘Alexander Hamilton,’ changing the lyrics to pay respects to Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Read the lyric changes on Miranda’s tumblr here.
Other stars present included cast members from Bright Star, Disaster!, The Color Purple, School of Rock, and Fun Home.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is a leading nonprofit AIDS fundraising organization. The organization has raised over more than $225 million for the cause. This year’s six week Easter Bonnet Competition raised an astonishing $5.5 million, contributing to the previous $63.3 million raised by the competition in the past 29 years since 1987. The performance by the Hamilton cast contributed $516 thousand of the revenue this year.
The event is of course not all about winning. The main goal is to promote donations for AIDS research, but that doesn’t mean the competitors don’t go all out. The bonnets created by each cast are unique and outrageous, enough to drive their point home.
Hamilton was awarded Best Presentation and Most Money Raised during the competition, two of the top awards of the show. Of course, awards do not mean bad blood between the competitors. Miranda posted a picture with the cast of Fun Home (after their parody performance of “Gee, Officer Krupke” from West Side Story replaced with Miranda’s name asking him to write them a musical) on Twitter with the caption:
“The @funhomemusical kids made me cry.”
The BC/EFA raises money year-round, and not only for special events. If you would like to get involved, go to http://Broadwaycares.org.