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 an outstanding $631,222.
Thousands of theatre lovers filled Broadway’s Shubert Alley and West 44th Street on Sunday, September 22, 2013, for the day-long extravaganza. They scoured 56 tables overflowing with unique Broadway treasures. They 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 have raised a grand total of more than $10.3 million.
With a strong fall wind blowing through the theatre district, this year’s Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction flourished on a mix of spirited shopping and competitive bidding. The tables raised $311,691, the first time in the event’s history the tables topped the $300,000 mark and more than $25,000 above last year’s total. The live auction raised $217,950, one of the highest totals ever.
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 top 10 tables raising the most money were: Wicked with $19,244; United Scenic Artists Local 829 with $18,206; The Phantom of the Opera with $15,887; Newsies with $13,353; TDF with $13,099; Kinky Boots with 12,326; Creative Goods Merchandise with $9,739; Reel Time Video Production with $9,508; Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers (ATPAM) with $9,056; and Matilda The Musical with $8,102.
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 ofWicked, including passes to an exclusive star-studded after-party, raised $7,000.
Opening night tickets and VIP party passes to Hedwig and the Angry Inch, opening in April and starring Neil Patrick Harris, went for $6,500 while opening night tickets and party passes to the new musical If/Then, starring Idina Menzel, LaChanze and Anthony Rapp, raised $6,000; the Betrayal opening night package raised $5,300 and Aladdin raised $4,600. In all, 17 opening night packages including tickets and party passes raised $57,000.
An “ahmaaazing” guest appearance on Sirius XM’s “Seth’s Big Fat Broadway” show, starring Seth Rudetsky, sold for $4,000 to two lucky bidders. Tickets to see Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart in their much-anticipated repertory productions of No Man’s Land and Waiting for Godot, including an exclusive backstage meet-and-greet with both celebrated actors, raised $2,200. A one-in-a-lifetime onstage experience in the hit Motown The Musical sold for $3,000. And a private lunch with stage-and-screen legend Angela Lansbury raised $5,500.
This year’s live auction was hosted by Broadway and TV veteran Bryan Batt with BC/EFA’s iconic auctioneer Lorna Kelly and Broadway actress and auctioneer Tasha Lawrence.
Earlier in the day, a series of half-hour silent auctions, hosted by favorites Jen Cody and Michael Goddard, featured 143 items and raised $84,831. The top silent auction item, which sold for $9,000, was Elphaba’s broom from Wicked, used onstage and signed by Idina Menzel, the original Elphaba. An autographed script for the pilot episode of NBC’s Smash, signed by stars Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Christian Borle and Anjelica Huston, garnered $3,800.
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 Autograph Table and Photo Booth raised $21,855 from hundreds of fans who waited patiently to meet their favorite Broadway and television stars.
More than 60 actors donated their time to sign autographs and take photos, including Faith Prince (Annie); Amra-Faye Wright (Chicago); Santino Fontana, Ann Harada, Harriet Harris, and Laura Osnes (Cinderella); Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez (First Date); Cherry Jones, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Brian J. Smith (The Glass Menagerie); Annaleigh Ashford, Billy Porter and Stark Sands (Kinky Boots); Julia Murney (The Landing); Rory O’Malley (Little Miss Sunshine); Lauren Cohn, Felicia Finley, Aaron Lazar and Judy McLane (Mamma Mia!); Gabriel Ebert, Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Lesli Margherita, Jill Paice, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro (Matilda The Musical); Bryan Tyrell Clark and Valisia LeKae (Motown The Musical); Corey Cott and Kara Lindsay (Newsies); Mary Bridget Davies (A Night with Janis Joplin); Shuler Hensley (No Man’s Land and Waiting for Godot).
Rachel Bay Jones, Andrea Martin, Christopher Sieber and Matthew James Thomas (Pippin); Aaron C. Finley and Kate Rockwell (Rock of Ages); Eric Anderson and Amber Iman (Soul Doctor); Robert Cuccioli (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark); Patrick Page (A Time to Kill); Katie Rose Clarke, Carol Kane, Derek Klena and Lindsay Mendez (Wicked); and special guests Bryan Batt, Laura Benanti, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff, Len Cariou, Jeremy Jordan, Judith Light, Jose Llana, Debra Monk, Bebe Neuwirth, Jan Maxwell, Jim Newman, Bernadette Peters, Patrick Wilson and Bebe Wood. Showbiz veteran Jim Caruso of “Jim Caruso’s Cast Party” at Birdland kept the autograph-seekers entertained as host of the table.
The biggest day of the year for Broadway fans attracts theatre lovers from across the country. Drew Minard, who traveled from Iowa for his first Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, didn’t want to miss the autograph table: “We saw Bernadette Peters and Annaleigh Ashford and I high-fived Jeremy Jordan. That was so cool.”
Veteran attendee Mike Steele said that even after coming to the event for 10 years, he’s still surprised but his discoveries. “I’m always on the lookout for stuff from my favorite shows and somehow I always manage to find something I haven’t found before.”
Kim Coute trekked in from Lawrenceville, NJ for her sixth trip to the Broadway Flea Market: “I met two of my best friends here and we come every year together,” she said. “It’s so much fun. What could be better than Broadway fans all coming together on one day!”
The 27th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction was sponsored by The New York Times and United Airlines.
Photos by Daniel Roberts, Monica Simoes and Jesse Rusak/Studio 66