For 12 years there have been Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Broadway Flea Markets, and for 12 years they've meant the same thing -- a day full of mingling with theatre celebs, purchasing props, autographs, photographs, posters and Playbills, and bidding on auctioned items.
This year was the first flea market held on a Sunday -- and this year's event set a new record -- $507,000, topping last year's $425,000. Continental Airlines and Target Stores co-sponsored the event.
Cast and crew members from Broadway and Off-Broadway shows set up their tables all along 44th Street from Broadway to Eighth Avenue, spilling into Shubert Alley. Shows present included Ragtime, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Titanic, Rent, Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Chicago, Beauty and The Beast, The Lion King, The Fantasticks, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Cabaret, "The Rosie O' Donnell Show" and "The Late Show with David Letterman."
Some theatrical organizations lending their time were Dancers Responding to AIDS, the Stage Manager's Association, IATSE, Actor's Equity, the New Victory, the Theatre Development Fund, Agents for BC/EFA, and Classical Action -- Performing Arts Against AIDS. Broadway Beat and InTheater were also there to sell for Broadway Cares.
Some select items available for purchase at the booths: Jekyll & Hyde 1 year anniversary design notecards plus syringe pen -- $22
Photo of people made up to be "Hedwig" -- $5
Blueprints carried by Thomas Andrews in Titanic -- $20
Scarlet Pimpernel Pimpernel rubber stamp -- $10
1998 Easter Bonnet video from Broadway Beat -- $20
IATSE mouse pad -- $1
Signed David Gallo A View From the Bridge set design lithograph -- $40
3 Rent cast photos -- $5
Rosie O' Donnell doll -- $25
Back issue of InTheater -- $1
Back issue of InTheater featuring Douglas Sills and Deborah Gibson for Valentine's Day -- $25
Black and white Les Miserables tee-shirt -- $5
Doll representation of cast member from the Ragtime Easter Bonnet -- $30
Newspaper prop from the "Coalhouse Demands" number signed by the Ragtime principals -- $50
Slice of Lion King chocolate cake -- $1
Girls of the Kit Kat Klub Calendar -- $22
Miss Saigon tattoo -- $5
Framed sheet of Chicago cast member 32 cent stamps -- $100
Other items available included autographed scripts from An American Daughter, High Society, Titanic, Cabaret, "Remember WENN", "ER", and "As The World Turns", sampler CDs from shows like Rent and Tommy, autographed posters and Playbills, Late Show cue cards, autographed by David Letterman, pieces of Cats' junkyard set, Les Miserables shirts bearing the phrase "Life is short. Les Miz is long", autographed ballet slippers wore by the chorus of Phantom, and boxes of Razzle Dazzle Rice Krispies cereal signed by the cast of Chicago.
Some of the quickest items to go were the Side Show-related. By 11AM, only a few issues of the InTheater that featured "siamese twins", Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, on the front cover were left as well as a few cast member name plates. By noon, everything was gone.
Some tables featured silent auctions including a Phantom keyboard actually used in "The Music Of The Night", champagne flutes designed by the Kit Kat Klub boys and girls, and Alan Cumming's top hat. The silent auction netted $18, 320 for BC/EFA.
The central table in Shubert Alley was the celebrity table. This year among the stars who signed autographs and posed for pictures for a donation were Judy Kaye, Marin Mazzie, Peter Friedman, Mark Jacoby, Douglas Sills, Rip Taylor, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christiane Noll, Jere Shea, Patti Cohenour, Bebe Neuwirth, Audra McDonald, Alice Ripley, Robert Cuccioli, Martin Moran, David Garrison, Marcia Lewis, and Glenn Close, to name a few.
The "grand" feature of the day was the Grand Auction, an event that let theatre fans bid on one of a kind theatre and television related packages and items. The auction began at 4:30 and was led by auctioneer Lorna Kelly.
Theatrical walk-ons this year included a spot in the prologue and "Success" in Ragtime, a boy or girl role as a Lost Boy in the upcoming Peter Pan, a place and solo line in the "group therapy" scene in Rent, appearances in six scenes (with six costume changes!) in Miss Saigon, a male passenger walk on in Titanic, a "specifically tailored just for you" place in Chicago, a "this is your moment" package of several scenes in Jekyll & Hyde, an appearance as a party guest in The Sound Of Music, a spot in "Baby, That's Rock And Roll," and the finale of Smokey Joe's Cafe, and an appearance in Beauty And The Beast.
For television fans, there were walk-ons in "Rosie O' Donnell", "Friends", "Ally McBeal", "Early Edition", "Dawson's Creek", "Days Of Our Lives", "Third Rock From the Sun", "Dharma & Greg", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Touched By An Angel".
A musical phrase from Assassins signed by Stephen Sondheim, an on stage dinner with the Thenardiers and costumed cast of Les Miz, Roger Rees' Nicholas Nickelby tuxedo jacket, an autographed script from Seinfeld's final season, a chance to conduct Phantom of the Opera's curtain call, a bundle of Off-Broadway tickets to shows including De La Guarda's Villa Villa, Stomp, and Hedwig And The Angry Inch, a Hirshfeld of Nathan Lane and the cast of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, a silk top hat and montage from A Chorus Line signed by Marvin Hamlisch, a chance to be a celebrity judge at 1998's Gypsy of the Year, signed portraits of stars Natasha Richardson, Alan Cumming, Hal Prince and Stephen Sondheim, Douglas Sills, and Angela Landsbury, a basket of goodies from BC/EFA's Chess concert, a white painting autographed by Art's Alan Alda, Alfred Molina, and Victor Garber, a combination package of Lorna Luft, Lisa Minnelli, and Judy Garland-related items, and opening night tickets and party passes to Footloose, Swan Lake, On the Town, Peter Pan, and Fosse: A Celebration in Song and Dance were some of the other auctioned items.
For more information on the Flea Market and other BC/EFA events, please visit their website at www.bcefa.org or call (212) 840-0770.
Coming up for BC/EFA:
Sept. 27 & Oct. 5: 5th Annual Gospel Celebration at Symphony Space
Nov. 30-Dec.1: 10th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition
Feb. 14, 1999: 2nd Annual Broadway Bears Auction