We escaped the remnants of Hurricane Ivan and Sunday, September 19 proved to be quite a wonderful day for what some have come to call "Broadway's Annual Company Picnic." Over 30,000 enthusiastic theatre fans shopped, schmoozed and gawked their way through Shubert Alley as the best of NYC's theatrical community came together to get BC/EFA's 2005 fundraising season off to a grand start.
Fifty three tables representing Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, unions, management offices and theatre-related businesses all pitched in, selling everything from signed memorabilia, Playbills, posters, baked goods and one-of-a-kind handmade items, raising a total of $192,064. Top "earners" (as they say on "The Sopranos") included: UNITED SCENIC ARTISTS / $16,923; WICKED / $12,788; AVENUE Q/ $11,944; BROADWAY BEAT / $14,022; BROADWAY.COM / $ 9,022; PHANTOM OF THE OPERA / $ 6,076, and
THE PRODUCERS/ $5,443.
Over $12,000 was raised at the Celebrity Table and Photo Booth where stars from Broadway and Daytime television signed everything imaginable for their fans. Broadway's Bernadette Peters, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bebe Neuwirth, Richard Thomas, Tonya Pinkins, Mario Cantone, Isabel Keating, Stephanie J. Bloch, Beth Fowler, Gary Beach, Joey McIntyre, Roger Rees, Tom Hewitt, Marian Seldes, Carole Shelley, Tovah Feldshuh, Joe Machota, Peter Scolari, Michael McKeon, John Tartaglia, Andrea McCardle and Tony Roberts were among the more than 90 stars who dropped by for an hour to meet and greet.
The Silent Auction - which featured 73 items sold over a five-hour period - raised $35,000. Bidding was led by a Hirschfeld of Gwen Verdon ($2,700). Musical phrases from AVENUE Q - written by composer Robert Lopez and lyricist Jeff Marz. - also received high bids; "The Internet is for Porn" sold for $2,200, while "George Bush! Is Only for Now!" earned $1,800. Mel Brooks' handwritten musical phrase "When You Got It, Flaunt It," from THE PRODUCERS, sold for $1,600.
As has become tradition, The Grand Auction closed the day's festivities. Auctioneer Lorna Kelly lead the charge as another $172,400 was raised from such items as:
- A walk-on in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA ($8,500);
- A pair of VIP tickets and a backstage visit to Better Midler's show at Radio City ($7,500);
- Additional walk-ons in RENT ($6,800), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF ($6,000), and 42ND STREET ($4,500), as well as
- Two VIP tickets to the opening night performance and party for LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
Thanks to our Flea Market Sponsors - CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, THE NEW YORK TIMES and FORD MOTOR COMPANY. Their support is greatly appreciated.
But we especially thank the hundreds of theatrical professionals who joined forces to make this day possible and the tens of thousands of theatre fans who in turn made it fun and profitable for BC/EFA. We hope to see you next year.