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by Michael Portantiere

    Spring in Their Steps

    The Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition seems to take place later and later each year, as one of this year's participants joked. But the 2009 edition of the fabled event raised a whopping $3,402,147 for BC/EFA -- this in the midst of a terrible economy -- so no one is complaining. Here are some of my pics of what went on at the Minskoff Theatre on Tuesday, April 28.



    The opening number, "Broadway, Don't You Bring Me No Bad News," featured such fabulous folks as Aisha De Haas...


    ...Heidi Blickenstaff, Susan Blackwell, Seth Rudetsky, Julia Murney...


    ...the golden-voiced Norm Lewis...


    ...and the one and only Liza Minnelli.


    This amazing bonnet was worn by the amazing Nick Adams, from the cast of Guys and Dolls.


    The company of Shrek imagined what it would be like if characters from other musicals, such as The Little Mermaid, were as flatulent as the title character of their own show.

    John Tartaglia, who plays Pinocchio in Shrek, sported that show's Easter bonnet.


    The cast of Chicago offered a version of the "Cell Block Tango" that bitterly lamented all of the shows that closed in January.


    The company of Wicked did a rude but hilarious sketch about the octomom.


    The company of The Lion King let us see what the Vegas company of their show might look like if it boasted such inappropriate stars as....


    ...Tina Turner and...


    ...Kanye West. I don't know, it looks pretty good to me!


    As usual, Officer Lockstock and Little Sally were on hand to make snarky comments on just about everything.


    The company of West Side Story, with bonnet.


    The company of Mamma Mia! in "The Rose."


    Jane Fonda and the cast of 33 Variations offered a glimpse at one of their "voluntary rehearsals."


    Trevor Braun, from the cast of "The Little Mermaid," gave a no-holds-barred rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls. You go, white boy!


    This photo of the Hair company's presentation speaks for itself!


    Former Ziegfeld girl Doris Eaton Travis, now 105 years young, made her traditional Easter Bonnet appearance to a heartfelt standing ovation and then performed "Balling the Jack" with the company of Billy Elliot.


    Jane Fonda was ebullient during the show's finale -- not surprising, since it was announced that her show, 33 Variations, won all three of the afternoon's major awards: for bonnet, presentation, and number-one fundraiser!

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 8:11 AM | Item Link

    Michael Portantiere comes to BroadwayStars with more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for such media outlets as TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has also contributed articles and reviews to AfterElton.com, Playbill, and Stagebill, and has written notes for several major cast albums. Additionally, Michael is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several notable websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.)
    He can be reached at michael@broadwaystars.com

    The last five columns written by Michael Portantiere:

    07/13/2010: Presidential Material

    07/04/2010: Hardy Boy

    06/29/2010: High School Stars

    06/21/2010: Falling in Love Again

    06/17/2010: A Meeting of the 'mos (and Their Friends)

    For a listing of all features written by Michael, click here.