The annual fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS begins at 6 PM with a private reception and an advance VIP preview of this year's collection of bears. At 7 PM the doors will open for general admission ticket holders, and the auction is scheduled to commence at 8 PM.
Batt, who was last on Broadway in the revival of La Cage aux Folles, hosts the event, which boasts Sotheby's auctioneer, Lorna Kelly.
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. Among the bears that will be auctioned are Sir Thomas More from A Man for All Seasons, Be Our Guest Eggbeater from Beauty and the Beast, Gabriella from Boeing-Boeing, Growltiger from Cats, Nugget with Alan Strang from Equus, Mama Rose "Some People" from Gypsy, Mama Rose "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy, Mimi Marquez from Rent, Sir Robin from Spamalot, Wendla from Spring Awakening, Glinda from Wicked and Elizabeth from Young Frankenstein.
Those unable to attend the New York auction can bid online. BC/EFA accepts pre-bids and prearranged phone bids the night of the auction. Previews of this year's bears are available on the Broadway Cares website.
Last year's auction, also hosted by Batt, brought in $127,000 for the charitable organization. The Spamalot bear — signed by Clay Aiken and David Hyde Pierce — was the top-selling bear, bringing in $17,000. New Orleans resident Bryan Batt — most recently on Broadway in the revival of La Cage aux Folles — has also been seen on The Great White Way as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast; Monty, the disco DJ, in Saturday Night Fever; the Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical; and Sir Percy in Frank Wildhorn's The Scarlet Pimpernel. He also had 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.
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 $150 million dollars for critically needed services for people with AIDS and other serious illnesses.
For more information about Broadway Bears XII or Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, visit the BC/EFA website at www.broadwaycares.org or call (212) 840-0770, ext. 268.