Even the threat of rain didn’t stop the biggest day of the year for Broadway fans from turning into a bright and sunny day for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS as the 27th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction raised $631,222.
Thousands of theater lovers filled Broadway’s Shubert Alley and West 44th Street on Sunday, September 22, 2013, for the daylong extravaganza. They scoured 56 tables overflowing with unique Broadway treasures. Attendees met more than 60 of Broadway’s brightest stars at the Autograph Table & Photo Booth and bid on 212 Grand Auction lots in live and silent auctions.
The 27 editions of the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, which is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, have raised a grand total of more than $10.3 million.
With a strong fall wind blowing through the theater district, this year’s Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction flourished on a mix of spirited shopping and competitive bidding.
“With the beautiful weather, a wonderfully vibrant energy and great sense of community filled Shubert Alley and surged down West 44th Street from early morning to dusk,” said Tom Viola, Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “That enthusiasm and the great generosity of spirit of the theatre community itself translated into an extraordinary day for Broadway Cares and, in turn, a better one for hundreds of thousands in our own neighborhood and across the country living with HIV/AIDS and other serious health issues who receive support because of the ever-growing embrace of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.”
This year, the 56 tables of the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction represented Broadway and Off-Broadway’s top shows, producing organizations, unions, guilds and fan clubs, selling all variety of theatrical treasure, memorabilia, marketing materials, Playbills old and new, handmade items and all around high-end and low-brow “fabulous stuff.”
The Grand Auction included both live and silent auctions. The top-selling lot of the live auction was an opportunity to join the cast of this year’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots in a walk-on that sold for a remarkable $8,250.
Unique offerings from two of Broadway’s biggest, long-running hits – The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked – helped push this year’s final auction total even higher. The Phantom mask worn by star Hugh Panaro in the show’s landmark 25th anniversary Broadway performance earlier this year fetched $7,500. Tickets to next month’s 10th anniversary performance of Wicked, including passes to an exclusive star-studded after-party, raised $7,000.
As in years past, musical phrases handwritten and signed by Broadway composers and lyricists continue to be among the most-popular lots. The “I Dreamed a Dream” phrase from Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alan Boublil raised $3,000, followed by “Defying Gravity” from Wicked and “Magic to Do” from Pippin, hand sketched by Stephen Schwartz, which sold for $1,500 and $1,400. A unique musical phrase from Motown The Musical, “Money, That’s What I Want,” by Berry Gordy sold for $1,200.
A poster of The Boy from Oz, signed by the original Broadway cast including Hugh Jackman, sold for $2,020, while a poster from Merrily We Roll Along, signed by Hal Prince and Stephen Sondheim, raised $1,450. A tambourine from Pippin signed by Andrea Martin sold for $920. A script from The Book of Mormon, signed by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Bobby Lopez and the original cast raised $875; a Follies poster signed by Stephen Sondheim sold for $800 and much more
The always popular Celebrity Autograph Table and Photo Booth raised $21,855 from hundreds of fans who waited patiently to meet their favorite Broadway and television stars, including Andrea Martin, Jeremy Jordan, Bernadette Peters and Laura Osnes, and many more.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.