The ninth annual auction to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will feature a host of teddy bears dressed as famous Broadway characters and will be held at B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, located in Manhattan at 237 West 42nd Street. The evening is set to begin at 6 PM with a private reception and a VIP advance preview of the bears; the general admission reception and display is set for 7 PM, and the auction commences at 8 PM. Lorna Kelly will be the event's auctioneer.
Phone bids, pre-bids and internet bids will all be accepted for this year's fundraiser.
Last year's auction raised $116,817 for BC/EFA, the nation's leading industry based, not-for-profit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization. The bear decked out as Wicked's Glinda raised the most funds, $6,000. Bears auctioned last season were dressed in costumes from such shows as A Raisin in the Sun, A Year with Frog and Toad, Anna in the Tropics, Anything Goes, Avenue Q, Beauty and the Beast, Bombay Dreams, The Boy From Oz, Brooklyn, Camelot, Candide, Cats, Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance, The Frogs, Golda's Balcony, Gypsy, Hay Fever, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, High Button Shoes, High Spirits, I Am My Own Wife, Jelly's Last Jam, La Boheme, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Mary of Scotland, Master Class, Movin' Out, No No Nanette, Pacific Overtures, The Phantom of the Opera, Pirates of Penzance, Purlie, Rent, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Vivat! Vivat Regina!, Wicked, Wonderful Town and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Host Bryan Batt's additional theatre credits include Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast; Monty, the disco DJ, in Saturday Night Fever; the Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical; Sir Percy in Frank Wildhorn's The Scarlet Pimpernel; as well as principal roles in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Starlight Express and Cats. The actor-singer-dancer also played Joe Gillis opposite Betty Buckley's Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard and has appeared Off-Broadway in Forbidden Broadway and Jeffrey. Batt has also been busy raising funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
For more information about Broadway Bears IX or to make reservations for the event, call BC/EFA, (212) 840-0770, ext. 245. Visit the BC/EFA website at www.broadwaycares.org.