At the 32nd Annual Easter Bonnet Competition, the cast of SpongeBob SquarePants proved an animated cartoon can be a successful musical in “Can You Carry A Simple Toon?” Led by SpongeBob himself, Ethan Slater as a perky red-headed orphan, the cast sang Annie’s “NYC” amid a flurry of Times Square characters, including Spider-Man and the Naked Cowboy.
Humor, hope and heart were at the core of the performances at the 32nd annual Easter Bonnet Competition, which raised $5,721,879 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Written by Kelvin Moon Loh
Directed by Kelvin Moon Loh and Gaelen Gilliland
Choreographed by Curtis Holbrook
Music Direction by Julie McBride
Easter Bonnet created by Martín Lara and Cate Goetschius
Performers: Lilli Cooper, Alex Gibson, Gaelen Gilliland, Jordan Grubb, Kyle Matthew Hamilton, Curtis Holbrook, L’ogan J’ones, Jai’len Christine Li Josey, Kelvin Moon Loh, Lauralyn McClelland, Brian Ray Norris, Oneika Phillips, Allysa Shorte, Danny Skinner, Ethan Slater, Abby C. Smith, Brynn Williams
The Easter Bonnet Competition is the culmination of six weeks of spring fundraising efforts by company members of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions. Casts, crews and volunteers at participating shows stood with Broadway Cares’ signature #redbuckets in hand at theatre exits to accept donations, in addition to selling signed Playbills, posters and other special treasures.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS awards grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. and is the largest single financial supporter of the social service programs of The Actors Fund, helping everyone in entertainment and the performing arts.
Broadway Cares hosts two six-week-long fundraising campaigns in theatres across the country every year, one leading up to the Easter Bonnet Competition in April and the other leading up to the Red Bucket Follies in December. Broadway Cares also produces annual fundraising events in New York City, including Broadway Backwards, Broadway Bares and the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction.