One of our most successful Grand Auctions ever helped Broadway Cares’ 19th Annual Flea Market earn $544,037, our best result since 2000’s record-setting total of $574,000. This year’s result outpaced 2004’s $419,464 by over $120,000.
On Sunday, September 25, more than 250,000 people spent a total of $246,957 at the 63 flea market tables (10 more than last year) that stretched from Shubert Alley onto 44 th Street, which was closed off between 7th and 8th Avenues. The most financially successful tables were: United Scenic Artists ($23,865), Broadway Beat ($19,470), Broadway.com ($9,914, which included on-line auction items), Wicked ($7,854), TDF ($7,621), and Spamalot ($7,333).
Seventy-six items sold during the five-hour silent auction, including: “All You Have to Do,” a musical phrase from Assassinssigned by Stephen Sondheim ($7,000); a musical phrase from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang signed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman; a phrase from Avenue Q signed by Bobby Lopez and Jeff Marx ($1,600) and two from Wicked signed by Stephen Schwartz ($1,510 and $1,250). A 1940s playbill from Othello, signed by star Paul Robeson, sold for $1,100. The Silent Auction brought in $43,380.
Auctioneer Lorna Kelly and host Bryan Batt kept the excitement high and motivated buyers to escalate their bids during the highly successful Grand Auction, which began at 5:00. Among the 55 items auctioned off were:
- Two VIP tickets to the New York premiere to the movie version of Rent on November 17 ($3,400);
- Walk-on roles in Mamma Mia! ($6,500), Wicked ($6,000) and Phantom of the Opera ($7,500);
- VIP tickets to The Tony Awards and the gala that follows ($8,750) and
- VIP tickets to the final performance of Movin’ Out ($3,000).
Another highlight was the Celebrity Table and Photo Booth, which earned over $11,000, $3,000 more than in 2004, thanks in large part to 77 stars of Broadway and Daytime television who not only gave BC/EFA time from their busy schedules, but showed supreme grace while dividing their time between fans seeking autographs and the adoring admirers who stood in line to have their pictures taken with the stars.
Among the high-profile names participating were three stars of Spamalot: Christopher Sieber, David Hyde Pierce and the much-in-demand Tim Curry, who not only signed countless pieces of memorabilia, but posed for photos with more than 40 fans and still managed to make his three o’clock matinee.
Also extremely popular were Rosie O’Donnell (Fiddler on the Roof), Patti LuPone (opening soon in Sweeney Todd), Bebe Neuwirth, Lynn Redgrave, Valerie Harper, Judith Light, recent Tony Award® winners Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) and Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), and first timers Laura Linney and Joan Allen. All Shook Up’s Cheyenne Wilson posed with excited fans, as did Rent’s Anthony Rapp, who decided to stick around for the rest of the day. Patrick Wilson (returning to Broadway soon in Barefoot in the Park) proved so popular he had to make two trips to the photo booth.
This highly successful day was also boosted by our corporate sponsors: The New York Times, Continental Airlines, The Times Square Alliance, Columbia Pictures/Revolution Studio’s “Rent” (to premiere in NYC on November 17 th) and Bolzano’s, the new restaurant adjoining Shubert Alley in a blaze of neon, which allowed BC/EFA to take over its deck for our celebrity table.