The top-selling lot was a day at The Phantom of the Opera, including a walk-on role in the Broadway show with special costumes and make-up, which went for $10,500 to two bidders, raising $21,000 for Broadway Cares.
Other top live auction items included:
• A one-of-kind photograph of the late Elizabeth Taylor taken by Rivka Katvan backstage during the 1981 production of The Little Foxes, one of her only two Broadway performances, raised $10,000. It was autographed by the acting legend exclusively for Broadway Cares shortly before her death earlier this year.
• A set visit to two-time Emmy Award-winning best comedy Modern Family in Los Angeles, coordinated by Broadway favorite Jesse Ferguson, one of the stars of the show, which went for $10,000.
• A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a judge at two of Broadway Cares' biggest events, Gypsy of the Year and the Easter Bonnet Competition, sold for $10,000 to two bidders, raising $20,000.
• Opening night performance and party tickets for 12 upcoming Broadway shows collectively raised $24,150, including $4,000 for On A Clear Day You Can See Forever and $3,800 for Evita.
• VIP house seats and backstage visit to the upcoming revival of Stephen Schwartz's Godspell went for $5,000 to two bidders, raising a total of $10,000.
• A VIP visit to the set of Saturday Night Live went for $7,500.
• Walk-on roles in Chicago, Jersey Boys, Disney's The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Memphis, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rock of Ages, Sister Act and Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana collectively went for $24,000.
Earlier in the day, a series of half-hour silent auctions included 140 items and raised $59,365. Musical phrases handwritten and signed by Broadway composers proved most popular. The top item sold was Godspell's "Day by Day" musical phrase, written and signed by Stephen Schwartz, selling for $3,500.
A marquee photo of the recent Broadway debut of Larry Kramer's Tony Award-winning play The Normal Heart, taken by Gary Gadsen and signed by the entire cast, fetched $3,200. A limited edition poster honoring The Phantom of the Opera's designation as Broadway's longest-running show and autographed by the shows creators and stars, raised $1,580. And a classic photograph and bank check signed by legendary comedic actress Lucille Ball brought in a $1,000 donation.
Other one-of-a-kind items auctioned off ran the gamut from show props and costumes from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Driving Miss Daisy to autographed theatre marquee photos and posterboards; from Whoopi Goldberg's tunic worn at Fire Island Dance Festival 14 to a designer dress worn on television by Chicago's Christie Brinkley.
The "flash auctions" introduced this year featured instant experiences with Broadway stars live on the Grand Auction stage. An appearance with actress Susan Blackwell in her wildly popular Web series "Side by Side by Susan Blackwell" raised $1,120. Singing Spamalot karaoke on stage with Tony Award-nominee Christopher Sieber went for $600, while a live serenade by Anthony Rapp, one of the original stars of Rent raised $400.
"Now comes the challenging part, fulfilling more than 50 experiences on Broadway from walk-on roles to meet-and-greets with the stars to opening night tickets," Graziano said. "After the trucks are loaded and the street cleared, it's really more a beginning than an end as we work to make dreams come true for months to come."
The always popular Autograph Table and Photo Booth raised $16,500 from fans who donated to Broadway Cares in exchange for autographs and photos with their favorite Broadway and television stars. That's almost twice than in 2010.
The Grand Auction's move from Shubert Alley to Times Square served as an unexpected boon for the celebrity portion of the event, which is housed on the outside deck of Junior's on West 45th Street, adjacent to the Alley.
"Space in Shubert Alley that would normally be occupied by tables and auction lots was instead able to be filled with fans who enthusiastically created long lines to see this year’s impressive line-up of actors," said Trisha Doss, an associate producer for Broadway Cares who oversaw planning for the Autograph Table and Photo Booth. "Lines stretched as far as the Shubert Theatre for the photo booth and the Schoenfeld Theatre on 45th Street for the autograph table.
More than 60 actors volunteered their time to meet with fans in one-hour shifts. Doss said the logistics of booking performers, whose schedules already are hectic, is a challenge.
"But there's an extraordinary willingness on the actors' part to work around show schedules, rehearsals and personal commitments to be a part of this event," she said. "And many of them found time to stop by before what was a two-show day for them. Their willingness to give of their time and energy are what make events like the Flea Market not only successful, but fun for Broadway fans."
Among the actors appearing this year were: Josh Gad, Nikki M. James, Andrew Rannells and Rory O’Malley from The Book of Mormon; Colin Donnell, Sutton Foster, Adam Godley and Joel Grey from Anything Goes; Patina Miller from Sister Act; Danny Burstein, Jayne Houdyshell, Ron Raines and Terri White from Follies; Nick Adams and Tony Sheldon from Priscilla Queen of the Desert; Jackie Hoffman, Brad Oscar and Roger Rees from The Addams Family, Rose Hemingway from How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Hunter Parrish, Telly Leung, Lindsay Mendez and Anna Maria Perez de Taglé from Godspell, Seth Numrich from War Horse, Judith Light and Thomas Sadoski from Other Desert Cities, as well as other stars like Bryan Batt, Charles Busch, Bobby Cannavale, Jason Danieley, Joyce DeWitt, Michael Emerson, Ana Gasteyer, Montego Glover, Jonathan Groff, Megan Hilty, Beth Leavel, Marin Mazzie, Laura Osnes, Patrick Page, Adam Pascal, Carrie Preston, Anthony Rapp, Alice Ripley and more. Entertainer Jim Caruso returned again as host of the Autograph Table, keep fans engaged with impromptu interviews with the stars.
Such a massive endeavor could not be successful without a dedicated corps of volunteers helping to make it happen.
This year's event welcomed more than 200 volunteers, including professional stagehands, technical theatre students, professional actors, corporate and high school groups, regional student officers of the International Thespian Society (the high school membership of the Educational Theatre Association) and, of course, Broadway Cares' loyal team of local volunteers.
"We could not do it without any of them," said Broadway Cares Producer and Volunteer Coordinator Scott Stevens. "By sharing with us their own individual talents and expertise, combined with their dedication, generosity and willingness to pitch-in no matter what the task, they truly serve as an integral part of what we do."