Against All Odds
The 23rd Annual BROADWAY FLEA MARKET and GRAND AUCTION
A dismal forecast and heavy showers in the morning drove 64 tables from across Broadway, 75 celebrities, scores of auction items, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of theatre fans indoors. But to tweak a line from Funny Girl, “nobody was gonna rain out our parade” and on Sunday, September 27th, the 23rd Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction relocated from a rain drenched Shubert Alley and W. 44th Street to dry land and safe harbor at 52nd Street’s fabled Roseland Ballroom. And by the time the gavel came down hours later on the final lot of the Grand Auction and the last box of unsold Playbills were packed up, a grand total of $403,229 was raised for Broadway Cares!
Since its debut in 1987, when it raised $12,000, the 23 editions of The Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction have raised a grand total of $8,161,752 for BC/EFA.
“With the long-term forecast looking decidedly grim, on Saturday afternoon
BC/EFA’s staff met and decided to save the date, but change the location,” said Executive Director Tom Viola.
“Changing venues from outdoors in Shubert Alley to indoors at Roseland over 24 hours was both necessary and extremely crazy, but ultimately a success, making a day that surely would have been cancelled, truly unforgettable. My hat is off to the intrepid BC/EFA staff and extraordinary volunteers, as well as to the entire theatrical community for their good will, generosity of spirit and extraordinary flexibility and good humor,” he said.
Each year, The Flea Market not only fills Shubert Alley, but an entire block on 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. As the skies darkened Saturday afternoon with dire predictions for Sunday morning, the question became “cancel or move indoors”. But on such short notice, indoors to where?
“After years of producing Broadway Bares in Roseland, our staff and volunteers were familiar with the layout at Roseland”, said BC/EFA’s Producing Director Michael Graziano. “
“With some discussion amongst us all, it seemed doable and fortunately, we were able to secure the space on that afternoon. We then began relocating an outdoor event that includes hundreds of boxes, scores of tables and chairs, banners, posters, dozens of irreplaceable auction items, lights and sound and attracts well over 10,000 fans to an indoor venue in less than 24 hours. It was a daunting task, but one that I am happy and proud to say the BC/EFA staff and volunteers met vigorously and with great care and collaboration.”
Ballroom Table Hopping
As always, the Flea Market was scheduled to run from 10 AM to 7 PM, with doors opening just 10 minutes late to a damp, but excited, line of rainy day shoppers stretching around the block.
Tables representing Broadway and Off-Broadway shows – including Mary Poppins, Rock of Ages, South Pacific, Avenue Q and Jersey Boys; Shrek, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and Manhattan Theatre Club were on hand, as were tables from unions and guilds – Actors’ Equity, the Stage Managers Association; ATPAM, United Scenic Artists and The Dramatists Guild.
Management offices joined in, including The Broadway League, The Araca Group and Nederlander Productions, as well as tables from such long-time friends as Playbill, The Actors Fund, BroadwayWorld.com, ABC Daytime, Grey Advertizing and Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway Chatterbox, as well as such newcomers as Dancers Over 40, The Broadway Green Alliance, Broadway Impact, ASTEP, The Actors Temple, the Episcopal Actors Guild and the 12th Night Club.
All told, 64 tables were positioned across and around the main floor and in the basement of Roseland. Shoppers strolling through the aisles could choose from thousands of flea market items with a theatrical bent, including: books, scripts, vintage Playbills, posters, DVDs, CDs, photos, recyclable “Green” bags from a number of current shows, props and costumes, original costume and set design sketches from the long-time friends from United Scenic Artists, as well as every conceivable program, prop, drawing, poster and merchandise from The Little Mermaid sold by our young friends from The International Thespian Society, and much more.
Fans could snack on baked goods ranging from carrot cake and every possible variety of cookie to lavender lemon wheels to sausage rolls; win tickets at TDF’s pic-a-tic table; have their picture snapped with a real Tony Award at the Stage Door table and chat with playwrights Edward Albee, Douglas Carter Beane and Charles Busch who sat at the Dramatists Guild’s table nonchalantly signing copies of their plays.
Before the afternoon was through and the last signed poster, CD and Playbill had been haggled over and picked through, $192,429was raised at these 64 tables alone! All on a day that 24 hours before looked like a complete “wash-out”. Our sincere thanks to each and every table and all who made them possible.
The Top 11 Tables were:
$12,640 BROADWAY BEAT
$ 9,771 TDF
$ 9,663 WICKED (top B’way show table)
$ 9,132 UNITED SCENIC ARTISTS
$ 8,338 The BC/EFA Merchandise “Sale” Table
$ 7,983 BILLY ELLIOT
$ 7,263 The PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
$ 5,427 The ARACA GROUP
$ 5,351 TRITON GALLERY
$ 5,173 NEXT TO NORMAL
$ 5,112 HAIR
Stars Meet Their Fans
Seventy-five stars from Broadway, and ABC Daytime Television participated in this year’s Celebrity Table and Photo Booth, which together earned an impressive $14,770 in just five hours, giving fans (many of whom return year-after-year) the chance to meet and have their pictures taken with their favorite stars.
Scott Nevins and Michael Lee Scott emceed, lighting up the Roseland balcony and keeping patient fans energized as they queued up to meet this year’s truly awesome list of stars, which included: Broadway’s John Stamos, Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, Christopher Sieber and Tovah Feldshuh, Constantine Maroulis, James Carpinello, Rebecca Luker and Rosemary Harris, Haydn Gwynne and Beth Leavel, Will Swenson and Gavin Creel, Christiane Noll and Mo Rocca, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marian Seldes, Quentin Earl Darrington and Kevin Chamberlin, Bernadette Peters, Rondi Reed and Carole Shelley, Michael Cerveris and Kerry Butler, Susan Blackwell and Kathleen Chalfant, Bryan Batt, John Glover and Jessica Hecht, Anthony Rapp and, from Daytime TV, Marj Dusay, Bonnie Dennison and David Andrew MacDonald, Ellen Dolan, and many others.
Silent and Grand Auctions Deliver
This year’s Silent Auction, hosted by Michael Goddard and Felicia Finley, included 103 items and raised $36,590. The top item sold was a Les Misérables “I Dreamed a Dream” musical phrase, handwritten and signed by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil that went for $2,450. Other top earners were the musical phrase “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line handwritten and signed by Marvin Hamlisch ($1,475), and aJersey Boys “Big Girls Don’t Cry” musical phrase, handwritten and signed by “Jersey Boys” Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli ($1,150).
Other popular items included: The original front of house sign fromEquus, signed by Daniel Radcliffe ($800); signed posters from South Pacific, Blithe Spirit, Sunset Boulevard, 9 to 5, Next to Normal, God of Carnage and 33 Variations; the official 2009 Tony Awards poster signed by award winners and presenters, a “Camp Sondheim” T-shirt signed by Stephen Sondheim, an original cast LP of “The Rink” signed by stars Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli and many more.
BC/EFA’s favorite auctioneer Lorna Kelly, wielding her gavel magnificently in a new venue, was joined by Broadway favorite and “Mad Men” star Bryan Batt, back from Los Angeles to host this year’s Grand Auction. The top-selling lot was a set of VIP tickets to A Steady Rain, with a backstage meet-and-greet with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, which went for $7,500.
A special “Celebrate the Tony Awards” ticket package sold for $5,500, while a VIP “Saturday Night Live” Experience brought in $5,250. A wonderful collectible – a mask from Phantom of the Opera worn and signed by star Howard McGillin – sold for $4,600, while tickets to the opening night and party of The Addams Family sold for $4,000 with tickets to the opening of A Little Night Music selling for $3,000!
Special visits to the sets of the hit television series Mad Men, Nurse Jackie and Ugly Betty sold for $2,600 $2,000 and $1,600, while the rare opportunity to meet backstage with the acclaimed cast of God of Carnage after seeing this sold-out hit from VIP House Seats sold for $1,900.
Broadway legend Bernadette Peters joined Kelly to assist in auctioning VIP tickets to her up-coming concert for Broadway Barks and Broadway Cares on November 9th, raising $4,500 for the pair. Next to Normal stars Adam Chandler-Bertat and Jennifer Damiano stepped up to assist in auctioning VIP seats to the show and a rare backstage meet-and-greet with the cast following the performance for $2,600, which was then sold again to “the underbidder”, raising a grand total of $5,200!
As always, walk-on roles in top shows proved extremely popular, including ones from Wicked / $6,000, the national tour of Rent / $5,200, Chicago /$4,800 and Hair, which sold for $4,600 with the help of the show’s star, Gavin Creel.
From a photograph and a signed pair of jeans worn by Daniel Radcliffe in Equus to the theatre seats from which President Barack Obama and the First Lady watched the acclaimed revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the about-to-be renovated Belasco Theatre, 64 auction lots raised an impressive $175,000, making both BC/EFA and the afternoon’s bidders very happy.
“The 23rd Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction was a testament to the unique enthusiasm and great heart of the theatre community and its loyal fans,” said Viola. “But next year, please: Let the Sunshine In!”
The 24th Annual Flea Market return to Shubert Alley and W. 44th Street on September 26, 2010.
Special thanks to photographer Peter James Zielinski for his expert coverage of this year’s Flea Market – and to Ken Blauvelt for his additional photographs.
To see Peter’s complete collection of Flea Market photographs go to:
The Broadway Flea Market is sponsored by
Continental Airlines, The New York Times,
Junior’s, Discovery Times Square Exposition,
PMD Promotion and Next Magazine.
Sunday, September 27th – ROSELAND BALLROOM
Moved from Shubert Alley and W. 44th Street due to rain.
GRAND TOTAL RAISED – $403,929!
BROADWAY FLEA MARKET AND GRAND AUCTION
FACTS AND FIGURES
Funds Raised: $192,429
Representing 16 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, Lincoln Center Theatre, MTC and Papermill Playhouse, as well as tables from unions (Equity, ATPAM, United Scenic Artists, The Dramatists Guild); management offices (The Broadway League, The Araca Group; Nederlander Productions;); Playbill, BroadwayWorld.com, ABC Daytime, Grey Advertizing, The Actors Fund, Dancers Over 40 and such newcomers as Broadway Green Alliance; BroadwayImpact; Givenik; The Actors Temple and the Episcopal Actors Guild.
Top 10 Tables:
- $12,640 BROADWAY BEAT
- $ 9,771 TDF
- $ 9,663 WICKED (top B’way show table)
- $ 9,132 UNITED SCENIC ARTISTS
- $ 8,338 The BC/EFA Merchandise “Sale” Table
- $ 7,983 BILLY ELLIOT
- $ 5,427 The ARACA GROUP
- $ 5,351 TRITON GALLERY
- $ 5,173 NEXT TO NORMAL
- $ 5,112 HAIR
The Celebrity Signing Table and Photo Booth raised $14,770
The SILENT AUCTION:
Funds raised: $36,590 from 103 items
Top Silent Auction items:
- $2,450 “I Dreamed a Dream / LES MISERABLES musical phrase, handwritten and signed by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil
- $1,475 “What I Did for Love” / A CHORUS LINE musical phrase, handwritten and signed by Marvin Hamlisch
- $1,200 “Wicked Little Town” / HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, handwritten and signed by Stephen Trask
- $1,150 “Big Girls Don’t Cry” musical phrase, handwritten and signed by “Jersey Boys” Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli
- $1,100 “Ragtime” musical phrase, handwritten and signed by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens
- $1,075 “Defying Gravity” / WICKED musical phrase, handwritten and signed by Stephen Schwartz
- $1,050 “”Practically Perfect” / MARY POPPINS musical phrase, handwritten and signed by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
- $ 825 PHANTON OF THE OPERA program, Playbill and memorabilia, signed by Andrew Lloyd Webber
- $ 800 EQUUS – front of house photo, signed by Daniel Radcliffe
- $ 750 Photo of “One” finale of A CHORUS LINE at “recording breaking performance”, signed by Michael Bennett.
The GRAND AUCTION
With auctioneer,Lorna Kelly and host Bryan Batt
Funds Raised: $175,000 from 64 lots
Top Grand Auction items:
- $7,500 VIP tickets to A STEADY RAIN – backstage with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.
- $6,000 Walk-on in WICKED
- $5,500 Celebrate the TONY AWARDS
- $5,250 VIP SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Experience
- $5,200 Walk-on in the national tour of RENT
- $4,800 Walk-on in CHICAGO
- $4.600 Walk-on in HAIR
- $4,600 The “Phantom” mask worn and signed by Howard McGillin – THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
- $4,250 VIP tickets to Bernadette Peters in Concert
- $4,000 Tickets to the opening night and party of THE ADDAMS FAMILY
CELEBRITY TABLE and PHOTO BOOTH
Funds Raised: $14,770
70 BROADWAY AND DAYTIME STARS appeared over 5 one-hour shifts to sign autographs and for photos…
…including BROADWAY’s John Stamos, Chita Rivera, Bernadette Peters, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Danny Burstein, Rebecca Luker, Jonathan Groff, Priscilla Lopez, Haydn Gwynne, Greg Jbaba, Will Chase, Christopher Sieber, Rosemary Harris, John Glover, Stephanie J. Block, Alice Ripley, Gavin Creel, Will Svensen, Constantine Maroulis, Susan Blackwell, Marin Massie, Jason Danielly, Anthony Rapp, Thomas Sadowski, Victoria Clark, Beth Leavel, Kevin Chamberlin, Kathleen Chalfant and many others…
…and from DAYTIME: Bobbie Eakes, Chrishell Strause / ALL MY CHILDREN; Billy Magnussen, Cady McLain, Colleen Zenk Pinter, Van Hansis / AS THE WORLD TURNS; Robert Newman, Marj Dusay / THE GUIDING LIGHT and others.
In 1987 the first Broadway Flea Market raised $12,000. Since then, The BROADWAY FLEA MARKET and GRAND AUCTION has raised a total of $8,161,752! ($3,242,925 has been raised from The Grand Auction)