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The B in Your Bonnet? It Stands for 'Bucks'

0429 ESPRESSO EasterThe 23rd annual Easter Bonnet Competition for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids raised $3.4 million this year from 58 participating companies from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national tours. The No. 1 champ was the touring company of Rent, which pulled in more than a tenth of the total: $352,060. The top Broadway company was 33 Variations ($183,546), while Distracted led Off-Broadway ($31,819).

Among the attendees was Doris Eaton Travis (above), a 105-year-old Broadway veteran, who made her debut at 14 in 1918 in the Ziegfeld Follies at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

She appeared with the cast of Billy Elliot and taught them the number, "Ballin' the Jack," which she first performed more than 80 years ago.

Other highlights, lifted straight from a Boneau/Bryan-Brown news release (hey--it's a recession and we're understaffed):

* Liza Minnelli’s surprise performance of "New York, New York" during EASTER BONNET COMPETITION’s opening number entitled "Broadway Don't Bring Me No Bad News."

* After nine-year absence at the EASTER BONNET COMPETITION, the cast of Chicago re-entered the fray with a hilarious take-off of "The Cell Block Tango," entitled "The Chopping Block Tango" in which characters from Spamalot, Gypsy, Young Frankenstein, Hairspray, Spring Awakening, and Grease sing of the end of their respective runs on Broadway.

* Jane Fonda leading the cast of 33 Variations in a "Voluntary Rehearsal" which, in fact, becomes a 80's style "Jane Fonda's Workout" pre-show warm-up.

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