Broadway Bears V, the annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS auction of one-of-a-kind Broadway Bears, will take place this year at a new location: B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill, Feb. 10.
Florence Klotz, Theoni V. Aldredge, Santo Loquasto, Martin Pakledinaz, Willa Kim, Anne Hould-Ward and Julie Taymor are among the designers of this year's cub club, with subjects to include Nathan Lane (The Producers), Reba McEntire (Annie Get Your Gun), and Tom Selleck (A Thousand Clowns). To quote BC/EFA's website: "each bear, as always, will be meticulously designed, outfitted, costumed, draped, frocked, dressed, shod, hatted, painted, armored, tattooed, stuffed, made up, wigged, bejeweled, feathered and lipo-ed by top Broadway designers and design teams."
The stuffed toys themselves were created — and donated — by the North American Bear Co., Inc. Other on-sale bears representing shows of years past include a Sweeney Todd bear (signed by Hal Prince, Stephen Sondheim and Len Cariou), a Music Man bear of Marion (signed by Rebecca Luker), a Love! Valour! Compassion! ballerina bear, and a Sound of Music bridal nun bear. The bears are auctioned after being previewed on-line at www.BroadwayCares.org.
Last year's Bear bash, held Feb. 11, 2001, was hosted by health advocate Richard Simmons. To date, the Bear auctions have raised more than $590,000 for BC/EFA, the ongoing theatre effort aimed at meeting the challenges of AIDS.
This year's Bear event will begin at 6 PM VIP reception, followed by a 7 PM general admission display, followed by the auction at 8. For information about Broadway Bears V, which takes place at B.B. King's at 237 West 42nd Street, call Scott T. Stevens at BC/EFA, (212) 840-0770 ext. 245. Other BC/EFA fundraising events include the Gypsy of the Year competition (which this season raised just over $2 million), the fall Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction ($358K), the strip-teasey Broadway Bares (due June 16 at Roseland), the "Nothing Like a Dame" Concert (due March 18 at the St. James Theatre) and the Easter Bonnet Competition (due April 22 23).
— By David Lefkowitz