From theatrical treasures to selfies with stars, from exclusive auction experiences to coveted signed show posters and Playbills, there was something special for every Broadway fan at the 33rd annual edition of the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction on September 22, 2019.
The biggest day for Broadway fans featured 56 tables, 62 of Broadway’s brightest stars and 219 live and silent auction items, and raised $870,167 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Fans and collectors hunted for unique theatrical treasures from tables representing Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, theatre owners and producing organizations, unions, guilds, marketing groups, ticket agencies, concessionaires and fan clubs.
Undeniably unique items included a life-size cutout of Jelani Alladin as the titular star of Public Works’ sold-out and buzzed-about summer production of Hercules, customized brooms from Jujamcyn Theaters to represent the years they “swept” the Tony Awards and a larger-than-life fuzzy “Q” from the long-running production of Avenue Q.
Marc Bonanni, a Brooklyn resident who has been attending the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction since 2009, picked up two of the Jujamcyn Theaters brooms: one from 1990 and another from 2001. “I keep coming back because where else can you get something as unique as this?” Bonanni said.
For many avid collectors and benevolent Broadway fans, the excitement searching for unusual and extraordinary items makes the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction an unmissable day.
“We shut down our business this weekend each year to make sure we never miss the flea market,” said Bill Kiska of Frederick, Maryland, who picked up a set of prop skis from Disney’s hit musical Frozen. “It’s our eighth flea market and it’s my family’s favorite day of the year.”
The tables at this year’s market raised $430,765. The top 10 tables were: Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers (ATPAM) with $35,656; Hadestown with $29,940; Beetlejuice with $19,831; Wicked with $16,317; TDF’s Pik-a-Tkt with $15,458; Hamilton/Freestyle Love Supreme with $14,826; Mean Girls with $14,286; Dear Evan Hansen with $13,984; Jujamcyn Theaters with $12,863 and The Shubert Organization’s Telecharge with $12,773.
The day concluded in Shubert Alley with the live auction, which raised $310,950.
The most popular live auction lot was an unforgettable day with The Phantom of the Opera, including an onstage appearance in the Hannibal Opera sequence, a rehearsal with the stage manager and dance captain, a costume fitting with the wardrobe department, a wig fitting, special makeup designed just for the winner and more. The lot unmasked an impressive $16,000.
The second-most popular lot was lunch with Tony Award-winning Hadestown actor André De Shields, including VIP house seats to the mythical megahit and a handmade Hermes doll made in De Shields’ likeness. The lot raised $13,000.
Two tickets to the opening night of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical with exclusive invitations to the after-party raised $8,500, followed by $6,200 for The Lehman Trilogy and $3,400 each for Freestyle Love Supreme and Six. Opening night tickets and party passes to 21 of this season’s new shows raised an incredible $52,200.
Fans were delighted by surprise star appearances throughout the live auction. Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations‘ James Harkness tempted the audience with a smooth rendition of “My Girl” while auctioning off VIP tickets and a backstage meet-and-greet with the cast, which drove bidding to an impressive $7,000.
A gaggle of jazz hand-clad men from Broadway’s Chicago razzle-dazzled the auction-goers to bid $6,200 for a walk-on role in the legendary hit. Broadway favorite Aaron Tveit personally invited guests to witness the glitz, grandeur and glory of Moulin Rouge! The Musical with VIP tickets and backstage meet-and-greet with Tveit and his co-stars, which raised $4,200.
Also stirring up auction buzz and encouraging bids were cast members from the hit Off-Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof – in Yiddish and Tootsie‘s irrepressible Julie Halston.
Broadway and television favorite Bryan Batt hosted the live auction with esteemed and charismatic auctioneer Nick Nicholson.
Auction favorites Jen Cody and Michael Goddard returned to co-host the silent auction throughout the day, which raised $128,452.
The top-selling lot was a pair of Kinky Boots signed by original Broadway stars Annaleigh Ashford, Lena Hall, Billy Porter, Stark Sands and the rest of the cast, which raised $5,000. Other popular lots were a “So Big/So Small” musical phrase handwritten and signed by Dear Evan Hansen writers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, with a bonus Rachel Bay Jones autograph, for $4,500; a unique Wicked package including Elphaba’s broom, hat and wig and a signed poster for $3,750; and a “I Am Moana” musical phrase handwritten and signed by Moana‘s multi-award winning songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda for $3,500.
In addition to exploring the sea of treasures at the tables and auctions, fans met their favorite Broadway stars at the Autograph Table and Photo Booth, which raised $28,540.
The Broadway stars who appeared at the table included Krystina Alabado, John Behlmann, Lisa Brescia, Alex Brightman, Dave Thomas Brown, Danny Burstein, Kerry Butler, Reeve Carney, Sophia Anne Caruso, Kathleen Chalfant, Lilli Cooper, Gavin Creel, Paige Davis, Ariana DeBose, André De Shields, Raúl Esparza, Mark Evans, Kim Exum, Andrew Barth Feldman, Santino Fontana, Bradley Gibson, Clinton Greenspan, Andy Grotelueschen, James Harkness, Erika Henningsen, Grey Henson, Arielle Jacobs, Jorrel Javier, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Derek Klena, Leslie Kritzer, Marc Kudisch, Telly Leung, Dawnn Lewis, Alison Luff, Chris McCarrell, Rob McClure, Michael McCormick, Patti Murin, Bebe Neuwirth, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page, Reneé Rapp, Ryann Redmond, Jelani Remy, Kate Rockwell, Reg Rogers, Austin Scott, Kyle Selig, Christopher Sieber, Jennifer Simard, Ethan Slater, James Snyder, Jordin Sparks, Elizabeth Stanley, Sarah Stiles, Kristin Stokes, Cody Jamison Strand, Brandon Uranowitz, Kaley Ann Voorhees, Adrienne Walker and Adrienne Warren.
The effervescent duo of Jim Caruso, host of Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland, and Ben Cameron, host of Broadway Sessions at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, hosted the table.
The 33 editions of the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction have collectively raised $15.4 million. The Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction was sponsored by The New York Times.
Photos by Katy Beth Barber, Rebecca Michelson, Monica Simoes and Allison Stock
Video by Víctor Rodríguez; edited by Mo Brady