Time to start marking your fall and winter calendars! The charitable organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) has announced its special fundraising events for the months ahead.
Here's the line-up:
Sept. 13: 7th Annual Broadway On Broadway concert, co-sponsored by the League of American Theatres & Producers and the Times Square Business Improvement District.
Sept. 27: 12th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction
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 - Sunday, February 14, 1999
According to a League spokesperson (reached July 8), as with last year's event, more than 50,000 people are expected to attend the 90-minute revue, "Broadway On Broadway," Sept. 13, which features casts from current and upcoming shows, and is presented by Continental Airlines and American Express.
Admission is free. The stage is located at the downtown end of Times Square, near 43rd Street. Audience members stand during the show. Last year's event served as the first, pre-opening showcase for tunes from The Capeman, Triumph of Love and The Scarlet Pimpernel.
The 12th annual Broadway Flea Market will be held Sunday, Sept. 27, according to a spokesperson at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The Sunday date is a departure for the yearly event, usually held in Times Square's Shubert Alley on a Saturday. The availability of city permits was greater for Sunday, explained BC/EFA.
Other than the change in day, however, many of the other Flea facts remain the same. As always, a Grand Auction will be held. There will be the usual "celebrity table" full of Broadway, Off-Broadway, sitcom and soap opera stars with their John Hancocks at the ready. The event will last 10 AM to 7:30 PM.
It is too early to say which stars will be in attendance or what will be auctioned, but items on the block last year included walk-ons in several Broadway shows and New York-based television programs. Of course, all proceeds from the Flea Market and auction will go to BC/EFA; last year's event raised $484,000.
Last year's Dec. 2 Gypsy of the Year competition was won by the dancers of The Lion King. The Broadway company of Rent also won for raising the most money: $106,622, a new record. Total raised by 58 Broadway and Off-Broadway companies and tours) totalled $1,335,313.18 -- also a record. That number also includes more than $15,000 in corporate sponsorship and $41,670 in ticket sales to the Gypsy shows. The previous season, 49 companies raised a then-record $1,262,633.40.
The awards capped a 150-minute revue in which the "gypsies" or dancers from 20 Broadway and Off Broadway shows alternately poked fun at themselves and promised to fight for a cure to the disease that has devastated so many theatre folk.
For more information on these and other BC/EFA events - please visit their website at www.bcefa.org or call (212) 840-0770.
-- By David Lefkowitz