Final Broadway Bears Fundraiser Brings in Record-Breaking $198,300

By Andrew Gans
March 19, 2012

The final edition of the Broadway Bears fundraisers to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which was presented March 18 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, raised a record-setting $198,300.



The cumulative fundraising total for the 15 editions of Broadway Bears is $2,048,427. The previous fund-raising record was $170,000 and was set in 2002.

"What started as a one-time event with 20 bears in 1998 turned into a remarkable run of auctioning 643 bears raising more than $2 million," said Broadway Cares executive director Tom Viola in a statement. "Led by BC/EFA producer Scott T. Stevens, an extraordinarily talented team of Broadway designers, costume shops, and wardrobe personnel designed, costumed, draped, dressed and frocked, painted, outfitted, stuffed and lipoed, shod and hatted, feathered, tattooed and armored, bedecked and bedazzled these furry masterpieces, giving of their time, energies and amazing talent over 15 years to create this unique and delightful fundraising event. The Broadway Bears truly reflects the creative vision, sheer artistry and technical skill that are the hallmark of all of Broadway.”

The top bid for the 2012 auction was $20,000 for a re-creation of Joey from the Tony Award-winning War Horse.

Other top bids included $18,000 for Simba from The Lion King; $11,000 for J. Pierrepont Finch from How to Succeed; $10,900 for a trio of bears from Priscilla Queen of the Desert; and $8,000 for a Showgirl from the recent revival of Follies.

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The yearly event features a host of teddy bears dressed as famous Broadway characters, many autographed by the original stars who wore the original (human-sized) outfits.

Broadway favorite Bryan Batt and auctioneer Lorna Kelly were once again on hand to host and lead the evening's festivities.

This year’s Collection of bears included "red carpet" bears from such shows as:

A Chorus Line, signed by Priscilla Lopez
A Little Night Music, signed by Bernadette Peters and Stephen Sondheim
The Addams Family, signed by Kevin Chamberlin
Anything Goes, signed by Sutton Foster
Beauty and the Beast, signed by Alan Menken
Bette Midler’s Clams on the Half Shell Revue, signed by Bette Midler
Billy Elliot: The Musical, signed by Sir Elton John and Gregory Jbara
Bonnie & Clyde, signed by Laura Osnes
The Book of Mormon, signed by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells
Cats, signed by Betty Buckley
Driving Miss Daisy, signed by Vanessa Redgrave
The Drowsy Chaperone, signed by Danny Burstein
Exit the King, signed by Susan Sarandon
Fiddler on the Roof, signed by Austin Pendleton
Follies, signed by Danny Burstein, Jan Maxwell, Bernadette Peters,
Ron Raines and Stephen Sondheim
George M!, signed by Joel Grey
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, signed by Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis
Grease, signed by Adrienne Barbeau
Gypsy, signed by Faith Dane and Stephen Sondheim
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, signed by Darren Criss, Nick Jonas and Daniel Radcliffe
Hugh Jackman, Back On Broadway, signed by Hugh Jackman
Jersey Boys, signed by Frankie Vallie
Jerusalem, signed by Mark Rylance
Kiss of the Spider Woman, signed by Chita Rivera and John Kander
The Lion King, signed by Julie Taymor
The Little Mermaid, signed by Norm Lewis
Lombardi, signed by Dan Lauria and Judith Light
Lorelei, signed by Carol Channing
Mamma Mia!, signed by Judy McLane
Newsies, signed by Alan Menken
Nine, signed by Tommy Tune
The Pee-Wee Herman Show, signed by Lynne Marie Stewart
The Phantom of the Opera, signed by Judy Kaye
Priscilla Queen of the Desert, signed by Nick Adams, Bette Midler,
Tony Sheldon and Will Swenson
The Producers, signed by Mel Brooks
Promises, Promises, signed by Ellen DeGeneres
Shrek The Musical, signed by Sutton Foster
Sister Act, signed by Patina Miller and Alan Menken
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark signed by Patrick Page
Sunset Boulevard, signed by Elaine Paige
Wicked, signed by Gregory Maguire and Stephen Schwartz

 

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Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grants making organization. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, BC/EFA raises funds for AIDS-related causes and other critical illnesses across the United States. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised over $195 million dollars for critically needed services for people with AIDS and other serious illnesses.