Tatiana Lofton, from a Beautiful Noise (Photo by Rebecca Michelson)

The Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS announced special guests for the long-awaited return of the Easter Bonnet Competition, produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The 34th annual edition is set for 4:30 pm on Monday, April 24, and 2 pm Tuesday, April 25.

The Easter Bonnet Competition, which has been on a pandemic-induced hiatus since April 2019, marks the celebratory conclusion of six weeks of competitive, in-theater fundraising by 42 Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring companies.

This year’s show will be at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre, home to Disney’s The Lion King. The total amount raised by shows and supporters across the country, winners of top fundraiser and best bonnet design, will be announced Tuesday by Annaleigh Ashford (Sweeney Todd), Jessica Chastain (A Doll’s House), Josh Groban (Sweeney Todd), and Lea Michele (Funny Girl).

The Easter Bonnet Competition will be hosted by a cast of this season’s favorite performers, including Christian Borle and J. Harrison Ghee (Some Like It Hot), Victoria Clark (Kimberly Akimbo), Micaela Diamond and Ben Platt (Parade), Bongi Duma and Lindiwe Dlamini (The Lion King); Kimberly Marable (Chicago); Stark Sands (& Juliet); Will Swenson (A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical), and the current queens of Broadway’s Six, Bella Coppola, Leandra Ellis-Gaston, Zoe Jensen, Taylor Imán Jones, Nasia Thomas, and Hailee Kaleem Wright. Carolee Carmello (Bad Cinderella), Arian Moayed (A Doll’s House), and Brandon Uranowitz (Leopoldstadt) will introduce the judges at Tuesday’s performance. A limited number of Easter Bonnet Competition tickets, starting at $30, are available at Broadway Cares.

In Harry Potter land, on Saturday, April 22, the Tony Award-winning Best Play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will celebrate FIVE YEARS on Broadway. It’s the most successful (non-Musical) Play in Broadway history and the longest-running of this century.

CO/LAB Theater Group announced the new series, “Encore,” as part of their CO/LAB: core programming. “Encore” is a once-per-year group trip for CO/LAB actors to see a live theater performance and interact with the NYC theater arts community. To kick off “Encore,” CO/LAB is partnering with Playwrights Horizons. All attendees will get a special behind-the-scenes workshop opportunity to connect CO/LAB actors’ work in their classes to the professional theater community. The workshop will take place on Sunday, April 23, with Regretfully, So the Birds Are creative team members, including playwright Julia Izymo, actor Shannon Tyo, and lighting designer Stacey Derosier. Participants will then attend a performance of the show on Friday, April 28, for Playwright Horizons’ Accessibility Super Night, a night dedicated to audience members with disabilities and specific access needs not addressed at every performance, with a reception to follow.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong, the international sensation from Mischief, opened on April 19 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street) on Broadway for a limited engagement. The cast of Peter Pan Goes Wrong features Matthew Cavendish as Max,
, Bianca Horn as Gill, Harry Kershaw as Francis, Chris Leask as Trevor, Henry Lewis as Robert, Ellie Morris as Lucy, Charlie Russell as Sandra, Jonathan Sayer as Dennis, Henry Shields as Chris, Greg Tannahill as Jonathan, and Nancy Zamit as Annie. The company is completed by Ryan Vincent Anderson, Stephen James Anthony, Fred Gray, and Brennan Stacker.
Through April 30 only, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is thrilled to welcome Tony® and Emmy® Award-winner Neil Patrick Harris to the company as a special guest star. Harris will appear in the role of Francis, a member of the ‘Cornley Drama Society’ who portrays The Narrator and others in Peter Pan. Co-written by Mischief company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a highly physical comedy packed with finely tuned and inspired slapstick, delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring.  The play sees the ‘Cornley Drama Society’ back on stage battling technical hitches, flying mishaps, and cast disputes as they attempt to present J.M Barrie’s much-loved tale. But will they ever make it to Neverland?

Richard Willis, the lead producer of ALI, the new musical celebrating the life and legacy of the heavyweight boxing champion and humanitarian Muhammad Ali, has announced the premiere of ALI will be presented in Ali’s hometown of Louisville at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, in Fall 2024. Additional members of the creative and design team have also been announced.
Willis said, “We are proud to announce these extraordinarily gifted artists joining the ALI creative team. We look forward to the collaboration, as we build the most innovative and entertaining musical possible, celebrating the great man’s life and legacy. We are also beyond delighted to announce the show’s world premiere will take place in the great city of Louisville, where it all began. It will be an incredibly special event for everyone involved, and we hope to bring joy and healing to all Louisvillians, in light of the senseless tragedies over the past week.”  Clint Dyer, ALI director and book writer added, “I am excited and inspired to be aligned with this incredible group of artists, and we are thrilled that a casting search for the role of Muhammad Ali is underway.” Casting will be announced soon. For more information, visit thealimusical.com

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