On Sunday, September 21st, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS presented the 17th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction in Shubert Alley and down W. 44th Street. Hurricane Isabel passed us by, leaving a beautiful, sunny day like we haven’t had in years.
With 59 tables, 69 Silent Auction items, 71 Grand Auction lots, and a celebrity booth packed with nearly 70 stars, the Grand Total for the day came in at a record-setting $512,000!
The street was a buzz with theatre fans and tourists buying everything from tickets to shows, signed posters and Playbills, props and costumes, donuts and homemade cookies and, of course, our favorite, “Privilege to Pee” toilet paper from the company of URINETOWN. 59 tables from Broadway, Off-Broadway and theatre-related unions and guilds raised $209,000 with the tables from United Scenic Artists leading the way with $13,306. Show tables raising the most were GYPSY with $10,059, AVENUE Q / $7,949, PHANTOM / $6,724, HAIRSPRAY / $5,228, and RENT with $5,170.
The Celebrity Booth, on the north end of Shubert Alley, swarmed with stars of Broadway and Daytime TV. Lending their signatures and faces too our “photo booth” were Delta Burke, Nathan Lane, Audra Mc Donald, Chita Rivera, Hunter Foster, Bernadette Peters, Harvey Fierstein, Louise Pitre, Denis O’Hare, John Selya, Donna McKechnie, Roger Rees, Donna Murphy, Bebe Neuwirth and more!
The Silent Auction (with five 1-hour rounds) fueled the excitement in the alley when Michael Crawford’s signed red boots fromDANCE OF THE VAMPIRES sold for a high bid of $4,200, and the signed show poster took a $1,200 bite out of another willing donors wallet (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Other signed items sent the autograph hunters deep into their donating pockets bringing in $1,200 for the LONG DAY’S JOURNEY poster, $1,100 for a Dooney & Bourke leather bag and signed MOVIN’ OUT photo to appear in the upcoming D&B catalogue, $1,000 for a framed musical signature by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, and $1,000 for BC/EFA’s book, BROADWAY DAY & NIGHT; signed by contributors Jane Alexander, Betty Buckley, Carol Channing, Julie Harris, Gregory Hines, Ian McKellan, Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon and others!
The Grand Auction lasted nearly two and a half hours, keeping the Alley crowd on edge and cheering for walk-on packages such as from FRIENDS which brought in a whopping $30,000! The PHANTOM OF THE OPERA “experience” also sent the crowd into frenzy with a winning $25,000 bid! Other stand-outs included an $11,000 RENT walk-on, the $9,500 MAMMA MIAwalk-on, the $9,250 Tony Award package, and the $6,250 for two VIP tickets to Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick’s first performance back in THE PRODUCERS on New Year’s EVE. All of these items sold twice, doubling their totals!
BC/EFA’s sincere thanks and appreciation for the thoughtfulness, dedication, and hard work put in to this event by the stage managers, company and crew members, store and restaurant owners, managers and volunteers who made the day possible. Special thanks to our Flea Market corporate sponsors, Continental Airlines, The New York Times and The Ford Motor Company, as well as the Shubert Organization, 1515 Broadway and Riese Restaurants’ Charlie O’s for welcoming us back into Shubert Alley.
If this was your first Broadway Flea Market with us, we hope you had a great time at what we like to think of “Broadway’s company picnic”. It was a magnificent day re-affirming that what we do together does indeed make a difference! Congratulations and thanks to everyone!