The outdoor theatrical extravaganza, which began at 10 AM, featured several fundraising events, including a Celebrity Table, a Silent Auction, a Grand Auction and various booths manned by theatre performers and theatre lovers. For the second year in a row, the United Scenic Designers table raised the most for the charitable organization, bringing in $16,923; the Wicked table took in $12,788 and Avenue Q collected $11,944. A day at The Phantom of the Opera was the big winner in the Grand Auction — the high bid for that package was $8,500. And, two Bette Midler packages, including tickets to her upcoming concerts, brought in $7,500 each. The Silent Auction also earned quite a bit of money for BC/EFA, including an autographed Hirschfeld drawing of the late Gwen Verdon for $2,700.
The Celebrity Table, which boasted a host of stars from Broadway, Off Broadway and television serials, featured a few unannounced guests. Bernadette Peters, Marian Seldes and Rent's Drew Lachey all made surprise appearances at this year's event.
Last year's auction raised even more for BC/EFA: $512,000. A walk-on in the recent NBC series "Friends" brought in the highest bid during that afternoon's Grand Auction: $30,000. The table that earned the most was run by the United Scenic Designers ($13,000), and the show that collected the highest amount was the Bernadette Peters revival of Gypsy ($10,000).
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the nation’s largest industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization. Since its founding in 1988 the organization has distributed over $85 million for services for people with AIDS, HIV or HIV-related illnesses.
For more information, visit www.bcefa.org.